Kochi: Kerala High Court`s Vigilance Registrar has begun a probe into the alleged "procedural lapses" against Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offences) NV Raju while hearing the Solar Panel scam case.
The probe was ordered following two complaints filed in the court alleging that the Magistrate had refused to record the statement of solar panel scam accused Saritha S Nair, despite hearing her for about 20 minutes in camera.
Court sources said Vigilance Registrar, S Mohandas, two days ago took the statements of two court officials-- shirisdar and bench clerk, who denied having heard anything what Saritha Nair had said before the magistrate. Some court records were seized by him.
A civil police officer, also in the room, was also questioned, but she too is said to have not heard anything.
Mohandas is likely to take the statement of Raju also.
The enquiry was ordered by the High Court following complaints from A Jayashankar, General Secretary of the Indian Association of Lawyers, Kerala, and BJP General Secretary, K Surendran, seeking disciplinary action against the Magistrate and to suspend him immediately.
According to the complainants, despite Saritha`s plea, the magistrate had refused to record her confidential statement when she was produced in the court on July 20 and had instead asked to make a written complaint and hand it to the Superintendent of the Attakulangara jail where she is lodged.
The complainants alleged that if disciplinary action was not taken against the Magistrate `there was every chance of him tampering with the evidence available and influence the court and others who were eyewitness` in the case.
The sanctity of the judicial magistrate office has been `totally lost` and majesty of law has `deliberately been lowered`, the association had stated.
The scam relates to cheating of investors to the tune of crores of rupees by the accused by promising solar panel solutions.