The Kerala High Court today prohibited for two months the publication and discussion of the contents of a letter written by Saritha S Nair, an accused in the solar panel scam. Justice A K Jayankaran Nambiar gave the direction while considering a petition by former Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy, challenging the findings of the judicial commission which probed the scam. Chandy’s counsel sought a direction to the government not to act upon the letter that was made part of the judicial commission report tabled in the state assembly. The court posted the case for January 15 for detailed hearing. In his petition filed on Saturday, Chandy alleged that the commission’s findings were based on the letter written by Saritha. He said he was one among others whose name was “illegally” included in the letter written by Saritha in relation to her alleged sexual exploitation and harassment.
Such a case can only be enquired into and probed under provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure and not by a Commission of Inquiry, he said and sought to quash the report. Chandy alleged that the commission never issued him notice under Section 8(b) as mandated in the Commission of Enquiry Act, 1952, when it decided to entertain Saritha’s letter. He had also contented that with the placing of the report before the assembly, the letter has become a part of the official records and the reputation of the petitioners, along with others, was severely affected. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had tabled the Justice G Sivarajan commission report on the solar scam last month in the state assembly. The report had found that Chandy and his staff provided all help to Saritha and her company to dupe people. Justice Sivarajan submitted his report on September 26, four years after the previous Congress-led UDF government constituted the commission, when charges surfaced about duping of several persons of crores of rupees by Saritha and her accomplice Biju Radhakrishnan by offering solar panel solutions. The commission, set up in October 2013, had held 353 sittings and examined 214 witnesses and 972 documents.