Explanation sought for not recording Saritha’s statement

Kerala High Court Registrar (Subordinate judiciary) N. Anil Kumar on Monday sought an explanation from Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offences) A.V. Raju, Ernakulam, regarding the procedural lapses when the solar scam accused Saritha S. Nair was produced before him.

The Registrar had asked the magistrate to explain why he had not recorded the statements of the accused or given the accused pen and paper to write down what she wanted to reveal to the court.

The Registrar further asked him to explain why the accused had not been allowed to see her counsel Feni Balakrishnan when she was produced before the court.

The magistrate has been asked to give his explanation within 15 days.

The High Court vigilance wing ordered an inquiry into the allegations of “procedural flaws’’ in the conduct of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offences), Ernakulam, while recording the statement of solar scam accused. The inquiry order came on complaints lodged by K. Surendran, general secretary of the BJP, and A. Jayasankar, general secretary of the Indian Association of Lawyers (IAL).

The procedural lapses of the magistrate’s court, especially its decision not to record her complaint after listening to her for nearly 20 minutes, had invited flak from various quarters

IAL argument

Mr. Surendran said in his complaint that there was absolutely nothing in this case which warranted an in-camera inquiry but the magistrate chose to do so which obviously showed that there was something to be hidden from the public and this conduct had cast doubts in the minds of the public.

The lawyers’ association questioned the conduct of the magistrate in restraining counsel for Saritha from functioning as duly authorised counsel in the case or meeting her.

  • HC Registrar gives 15 days to submit explanation

  • HC Vigilance orders probe into procedural lapses