NATIONAL

Solar scam: Chandy says no need for lie detector test

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy deposed before the Judicial Commission investigating the solar panel scam for 14 hours and it went on past midnight during which he asserted there was no need for him to undergo lie detector test as he has done “nothing wrong”.

Mr. Chandy, who is the first chief minister in Kerala to appear before a Judicial Commission, told the panel that the charges against him and his office were “politically motivated”.

“What is the need for that? (lie detector test). I have not done anything wrong. No one has doubts that I have done anything wrong,” he replied to a query during cross-examination.

Mr. Chandy’s deposition went on for 14 hours after it commenced at 11 a.m. on Monday and concluded at 1 a.m. on Tuesday, an official said.

The Chief Minister also made a similar remark about lie detector test to media persons outside the government guest house here.

Meanwhile, Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan hit out at Mr. Chandy, alleging that the latter did not speak the truth before the Commission.

“If he (Mr. Chandy) had spoken the truth, why was he not ready to take the polygraph test?” Mr. Achuthanandan asked media persons.

The Commission was on its final stage of evidence-taking on the scam that broke out in 2013, causing a huge embarrassment to the Congress-led UDF government in power.

The Kochi-based Commission held the sitting at the government guest house to enable Mr. Chandy to depose as per his earlier request.

Rejecting charges that he and his office had helped Team Solar Company that allegedly committed the fraud, Mr. Chandy said after the scam had broken out, the government took steps to bring the alleged ‘fraudsters’ — Biju Radhakrishnan and Saritha S Nair — before law.

Mr. Chandy had said his government ensured punishment to the fraudsters who were committing the fraud since 2005 and that the conviction and sentence of the accused clearly showed his government’s commitment towards resolving the scam.

The Chief Minister had also hit out at the Opposition, saying they had so far not brought before the Commission a single shred of proof to support their charges that he and his office had helped the company.

Opposition CPI(M)-led LDF had launched a massive protest, demanding Mr. Chandy’s resignation as the scam took a political turn after it emerged that two members of the CM’s staff — Tåenny Joppen and Jikkumon — had alleged links with Ms. Saritha.

The government had appointed retired High Court judge Sivarajan as one-man Commission on October 23, 2013 to investigate the scam.

The scam pertains to cheating people of crores of rupees by Ms. Saritha and Mr. Radhakrishnan by offering solar panel solutions. — PTI