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Chandy questions credibility of panel
BY Ashraf Padanna November 11, 2017
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TRIVANDRUM: Former Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy has questioned the credibility of a panel that put him on the defensive in a corruption-sleaze scandal.

The Solar Inquiry Commission headed by a retired judge, G Sivarajan, which he had appointed when in office in 2013 to probe allegations against a fraudster couple in its report tabled in the state assembly on Thursday had put himself in the dock. Addressing a press conference here on Friday, he raised suspicion of the panel getting influenced by his successors to ignore 14 cases of cheating registered against the couple, Biju Radhakrishnan and Sarita S Nair before he came to power.

They included the murder of the wife of Radhakrishnan, which was concluded as a natural death, only to be reinvestigated during his tenure resulting in a court sentencing him to life in prison.

He described the report as prejudiced with suggestions without the concrete backing of facts of evidence.

He said his Congress party-led opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) would fight it out legally and expose the communist government’s attempts to seek political revenge against the rivals.

He also wondered why the commission failed to look into various other factors and focussed on a purported 25-page letter a television reporter submitted on the eve of the elections, against which he had moved the court seeking damages.

He said the commission had done gross injustice to him while ignoring allegations against his political rivals, though he didn’t believe it.

He pointed out that the same woman had earlier claimed that two top communist leaders had offered her Rs100 million and Rs1 million each to raise allegations of sexual assault against his party leaders to defeat them in elections.

“The commission didn’t bother about examining the credibility of the woman who has changed her statements several times and instead went ahead with allegations contained in the purported letter which she did not give in her statements,” he said.

“The government was obtaining a report it wanted from the commission, seeking the legal opinion from the judicial officers who are political appointees and ordering a criminal investigation. What justice is this?” He said the office of the chief minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, was circulating misleading information in the media to tarnish the image of the opposition leaders. He said an official in his staff distributed parts of the woman’s letter to the press claiming to be the panel’s recommendations.

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