Biju Radhakrishnan files appeal in court; seeks time for detailed consultations with lawyers
Claiming mental exhaustion, solar scam accused Biju Radhakrishnan on Tuesday made an urgent appeal before a magistrate court here for detailed consultations with his counsel.
Mr. Radhakrishnan, who was produced before the Kozhikode Judicial First Class Magistrate Court-III in a cheating case along with co-accused Saritha S. Nair, initially made an oral representation, saying he hardly gets time to interact with his lawyers. The only time he gets to meet them are the few minutes grabbed on the noisy court premises among flashbulbs, while shuttling from one court to the other across the State, he complained.
The accused raised apprehensions before Judicial Magistrate Titty George that this would deprive him of a chance to mount a reasonable defence in the various cases filed against him. Mr. Radhakrishnan faces 38 cases against him, most of them cheating ones.
“He has been in custody for the past 88 days. Every time he is brought to one or the other court, he is allowed just about five minutes with his lawyers. This is seriously affecting his constitutional right to a good defence and eventually a fair trial,” said Mohammed Rishal S., defence counsel for Mr. Radhakrishnan in the case here.
The court responded by giving Mr. Radhakrishnan 15 minutes’ time to pen a written request. Following which, the magistrate allowed his request even as his remand was extended till September 24. The remand period will be spent at the Ernakulam jail.
“He has been allowed a half-hour window between 4 p.m. and 4.30 p.m. to meet his lawyers at the Ernakulam jail on September 14 under the supervision of the prison authorities,” Mr. Rishal said. “He (Biju Radhakrishnan) said court he was mentally exhausted and wanted counselling,” assistant public prosecutor T.V. Ashraf, who appeared on behalf of the State in the case, said.
Mr. Ashraf, however, said he could not specify the nature of the counselling Mr. Radhakrishnan has sought for, whether legal or not. Meanwhile, the prosecutor said the Kottayam police are also seeking custody of the accused in a case.
Tuesday’s hearing concerns a case in which Abdul Majeed, owner of Associated Steels Yard, was allegedly duped of Rs.42.70 lakh. The accused had allegedly promised him a franchise in solar panel and windmill farm companies.
Mr. Majeed had filed a complaint with the City police against both the accused in November 2012. A case has been registered for offences under Sections 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating), and 406 (criminal breach of trust) of the Indian Penal Code.
Staff Reporter writes from Pathanamthitta: Government Chief Whip P.C. George has said that he could not agree with the ongoing probe into the solar panel scam.
Mr. George was inaugurating the Rishi Panchami celebrations of the All Kerala Viswakarma Maha Sabha (AKVMS) at Ranni on Tuesday.
He said democracy would collapse if political corruption was not stopped.