Kerala

Crime Branch has given me clean chit: Chandy

Oommen Chandy

Oommen Chandy

In a Facebook post on Thursday, former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said: “the Crime Branch report stating there is no evidence in the Solar case had emerged in the public domain.”

It gave him no relief or glee but merely illustrated the fact that no power could suppress the truth for long.

Mr. Chandy said he had not approached the court to quash the police case registered against him in 2018 knowing very well that the law enforcement could arrest him at will.

Mr. Chandy appeared to be referring to the case of rape registered against him and five other top Congress politicians based on the sworn statement of the woman accused in the Solar scam. He did not state where the report exonerating him had surfaced.

The “victim” had alleged that the politicians had sought and received sexual favours from her, promising State-support for her business venture during the 2012-13 period.

AICC general secretary K.C. Venugopal, former Ministers Adoor Prakash and A.P. Anil Kumar, Hibi Eden, MP, and Abdullah Kutty, currently a top Bharathiya Janata Party (BJP) functionary, are the other respondents in the case.

Mr. Chandy said the police had repeatedly investigated the woman’s accusations and found no evidence to substantiate the charges. The Kerala High Court had removed the woman’s deposition from the Solar Judicial Commission report. A retired Supreme Court judge had advised the LDF government that the prosecution had no evidence to proceed against him, Mr. Chandy said.

However, in January, the State government had promulgated an extraordinary notification authorising the CBI to probe Mr. Chandy, suppressing evidence to the contrary.

A police official said it was usual for the State law-enforcement to state why it sought a CBI probe in a particular case. He said the CB might have pleaded inability to ferret out evidence in the case to justify the government’s demand for a CBI inquiry. However, such a statement, if at all, did not tantamount to absolving of charges.

The cases against Mr. Chandy and others have their provenance in a damning observation by the judicial commission that probed the solar scam.

The commission recommended that the police investigate those persons named by the woman accused as her sexual exploiters. It concluded that demanding and accepting sexual favours for official patronage was equivalent to illegal gratification under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The Pinarayi Vijayan government, which came to power in 2016, accepted the recommendation and ordered a CB investigation. Earlier this year it had referred the case to the CBI.


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Printable version | May 22, 2022 1:44:25 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/crime-branch-has-given-me-clean-chit-chandy/article34163767.ece