Mr. Sivarajan is currently the chairman of the Kerala State Commission for Backward Classes.

Kerala Cabinet named, on Wednesday, retired judge of the High Court G. Sivarajan as Commission to enquire into the solar scam.

Mr. Sivarajan is currently the chairman of the Kerala State Commission for Backward Classes.

Announcing the Cabinet decision, Chief Minister said that there was no legal hurdle in Mr. Sivarajan holding both the positions (as enquiry commission and chairman of State Commission for Backward Classes). It was the previous LDF government which had appointed Mr. Sivarajan as Backward Classes Commission and his term was about to end shortly.

The Chief Minister said that Cabinet had also decided to amend one of the terms of reference, announced earlier, in deference to criticism by CPI (M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan. Accordingly, the Commission would examine whether there was any default in handling the complaints that had arisen since 2005 (instead of 2006) in connection with the solar scam and related financial dealings. The Commission was to submit its report in six months.

Mr. Chandy said that the High Court had communicated to the government, after a meeting of the full court that the services of a sitting judge could not be spared for the probe in view of a verdict of the Supreme Court and shortage judges. The Supreme Court had directed in a case that sitting judges should not continue as commissions.

The Chief Minister reiterated that the probe would cover all allegations raised in connection with the scam including those against his office. Any of the issues could be raised before the commission with the supporting documents. If the objective of the Opposition was to know the truth, it should be cooperating with the Commission. Why the Opposition should be hesitant to cooperate, if it had proof for the allegations raised by it.

He said that the Opposition’s plan clearly was to continue agitations against him till the Lok Sabha polls. However, people would understand its tactics.

Urging the Opposition to cooperative with his mass contact programme, Mr. Chandy said that the objective of the programme was not just to distribute funds from the Chief Minister’s relief fund. If that was the objective, the programme was not needed. The programme was aimed at removing the barrier between the rulers and the ruled and ensuring that the government services reached them in time. Above all, the experience gained from contact with masses was to be used for changing the policies and programmes of the government as had been done last time.

More In: Kerala | National