Thiruvananthapuram: In a new turn in the solar scam rocking the Congress-led UDF government in Kerala, a statement by a complainant in a court came out in the media today in which he claimed that he had met Chief Minister Oommen Chandy with accused Saritha Nair last year.
In the statement filed under CrPC 164 (recording of confessions and statements), purportedly given to the First Class Judicial Magistrate court at Ranni in Pathanamthitta district in July last, Mallelil Sreedharan Nair said during their meeting Chandy told them that solar plants were vital to overcome power crunch and such ventures would get support like subsidy.
Nair said in his statement that he and Saritha,who called herself as Lekshmi Nair then, were received and taken to the Chief Minister`s chamber by his former personal aide Tenny Joppan, who later figured as an accused in the case.
He said it was Saritha who introduced him to the Chief Minister as an entrepreneur interested in setting up a solar plant in the complex of the state infrastructure agency, Kinfra at Palakkad.
CPI(M) stalwart and Opposition Leader, V S Achuthanandan, recently approached the court seeking a copy of Nair`s statement. On his plea, the magistrate yesterday ordered that a copy of the statement be made available to Achuthanandan.
Significantly, Chandy had persistently maintained that he had never met Saritha and discussed any business proposal. However, he had admitted that he once met Nair, when he came to meet him as part of a delegation of quarry owners association to take up some of their grievances.
The scam pertains to alleged cheating of several persons of huge sums of money by Saritha and Biju Radhakrishnan through their firm Team, offering solar energy solutions. Both Saritha and Biju are in judicial custody in various cases.
The opposition LDF has launched a sustained campaign over the issue alleging that the fraudsters had the support of the Chief Minister`s office.
The Government recently appointed former High Court judge Justice G Sivarajan as the judicial commission to probe the solar scam while rejecting the opposition demand for Chandy`s resignation.