Kerala

Govt justifies panel’s recommendation to probe Saritha’s charges

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Allegations of sexual exploitation levelled in letter produced before the commission

The Solar Commission is perfectly justified in recommending an investigation into the allegations of sexual exploitation levelled by one of the accused in solar cheating cases, Saritha S. Nair, in a letter produced before the panel, according to an affidavit filed by the State government in the Kerala High Court.

The affidavit was filed in response to a writ petition filed by former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy challenging the findings of the commission. According to Mr. Chandy, the commission had arrived at a wrong finding “indicting him”, some of his former ministerial colleagues, MLAs and certain police officers “in the serious allegation of rape and molestation”, erroneously relying on a 25-page letter allegedly written by Saritha from jail.

The government, while defending the findings of the commission, added that there was no evidence before the commission that the letter was a fabricated one. In fact, the commission had never endeavoured to find out the veracity or otherwise of the allegations made in the letter dated July 19, 2013, but the commission took note of the allegation since it was very much relevant in the inquiry. The commission had only pointed out that very grave allegations were raised in the letter and that the truthfulness or correctness had to be inquired into by a competent authority.

The commission had never inquired or investigated into any allegations of criminal offence. Nor had the commission entered into any finding regarding the culpability or otherwise of any of the persons, the government submitted in the affidavit.

Evidence was let in by the author of the letter and the petitioner had no objection in examining him with regard to the letter in public. It was also a fact that the contents of the letter were widely published in the media and were discussed for a very long period on the public domain. It was also an undisputed fact that the accused had displayed the copy of letter in public. Therefore, there could not be any contention by the petitioner that his right of privacy was violated, the affidavit said

Mr. Chandy had conveniently suppressed or omitted the fact that the commission had considered several other important and crucial facts and circumstances for arriving at a conclusion. The letter by the solar scam accused was only one among the materials produced before the commission.

The petition by Mr. Chandy was posted to February 7 for hearing.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 6:34:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/govt-justifies-panels-recommendation-to-probe-sarithas-charges/article22444253.ece

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