Even as the Kerala High Court on Wednesday reserved its order on a bail petition filed by actor Shalu Menon, an accused in solar cheating cases, Special Investigation Chief ADGP A. Hemachandran informed the High Court that the total amount defrauded by the accused would come to nearly Rs.6.85 crore.
In a report submitted before Justice S.S. Satheesachandran, the ADGP said as many as 33 cases were being investigated by the SIT. Though the probe into isolated cases had been assigned to Dy.SPs, all major decisions such as fixing criminal liability and approval of charges etc were taken with the knowledge and approval of the head of the SIT.
The progress of the investigation was being discussed with investigation officers by the SIT chief.
The ADGP contended that Shalu Menon had received Rs.46 lakh from Biju Radhakrishnan, prime accused in the solar scam. He submitted that the case diary contained shocking revelations.
The DGP handed over the case diary to the court. He alleged that Shalu Menon had allegedly used her fame to promote the illegal business.
A detailed investigation was on to find out where the amount swindled had been put in. The SIT had also received complete statements of accounts on money transacted by the accused and elaborate investigation had been launched on the basis of this information.
He also said in his report that as many as 20 bank accounts maintained by Saritha S. Nair, Biju Radhakrishnan and the solar company had been frozen.
The SIT was contacting all banking institutions to find out if any secret accounts had been opened by the accused themselves or in the name of anybody else.
During the hearing of the bail plea of Shalu Menon, the judge directed the SIT to allow Saritha Nair to meet her counsel to prepare her written statement.
The court observed that when there was a threat to her life, as alleged by the accused, jail authorities should give her an opportunity to submit her version before the court.
‘No police lapses’
Director-General of Prosecution T. Asaf Ali submitted that the SIT would not prevent anybody from giving statement before the court. In a statement, the SIT head added that there were no lapses on the part of the police in not recording the statement of Saritha. As there was no order from the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offences) for recording the statement of the accused, the police had produced her before another court in another case.
On July 20, Saritha was produced before the Ernakulum ACJM on expiry of the police custody period. When Saritha wanted to have an audience with the magistrate confidentially, the court had directed her to give her statement in writing through her counsel.
The SIT had to produce the accused before the Muvattupuzha Judicial First Class Magistrate Court in a case registered by the Vazhakulam police on July 22 in response to the magistrate court’s directive to the jail authorities to produce her. That was why she had been taken to the Muvattupuzha court.