Solar fraud case: Chandy’s PA, gunman removed from duties

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With CPI-M led LDF demanding a judicial probe into charges of links between his office and a financial fraud accused, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Friday informed the state assembly that two staff allegedly involved in the matter have been removed from their duties.

Putting pressure on Chandy over the issue, LDF members protested and moved to the well of the House and later walked out when their demand for judicial probe was rejected.

Replying to a submission on the issue by CPI-M deputy leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Chandy said gunman Salim Raj and additional personnel assistant Tenny Joppen of the Chief Minister's Office had been kept out of their duties on the basis of the interim report of the investigation by ADGP (Intelligence) T P Senkumar.

A detailed probe would be conducted by ADGP (South Zone) A Hemachandran, who was investigating the fraud case involved by the accused Saritha S Nair, Chandy said.

Kodiyeri said Chandy should resign and face a judicial probe in the light of new revelation by Government Chief Whip P C George that he had already informed chief minister about the alleged link between the woman involved in the fraud and his office staff.

Replying to the charge, Chandy said George informed him about the issue on June 4, a day after the woman involved in the case was arrested. "So it has no relevance," he added.

The allegation involving CM's office with the Saritha Nair came to fore after media reported the telephone calls made by the two staff members to the woman.

Saritha Nair was arrested for allegedly cheating people on the promise that she would secure them solar energy distribution agencies using her influence within and outside the state.

Later talking to reporters, Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan rejected the LDF demand for judicial probe and said as it was a criminal case, the investigation under the CRPC would only bring the truth.

"The government's intention is to bring the truth in the matter," he added.

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