Bengaluru court annuls verdict in solar scam case

Former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
Former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

Thiruvananthapuram/Kerala, April 6: In a relief to former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, a city civil court on Wednesday annulled its verdict directing six persons, including him and a firm to together pay Rs 1,60,85,700 in a case relating to the alleged solar scam. The court said that the case would be heard afresh from June 1.

Judge N R Channakeshava has ordered so, when the prosecution, during cross-examination of Oommen Chandy, failed to prove that the defence had made changes to the affidavit which it had received. On January 2, the complainant in the case by a businessman M K Kuruvilla had sought time to examine the affidavit, alleging it was different from the copy he had received.

Oommen Chandy had moved Additional City Civil and Sessions Court on October 24 last which had directed six persons, including him, and a firm together to pay Rs 1,60,85,700 to Kuruvilla with 12 per cent interest for a solar power project which did not materialise.

Oommen Chandy had filed two applications appealing against the earlier verdict. The first had challenged the court’s ex-parte order and the second sought that his arguments be heard. On January 10, the court completed the cross-examination of Oommen Chandy after he had replied to several queries. Kuruvilla had filed a civil petition in 2015 seeking return of Rs 1,60,85,700 deposited with SCOSSA Educational Consultants Private Limited for setting up a solar power project in Kerala.

According to Kuruvilla, in 2011, he got acquainted with one Binu Nair, who claimed to be Director of Kochi-based SCOSSA. The petitioner had said that Nair had approached him for setting up the solar power project. The petition stated that Nair had claimed that one of the directors of SCOSSA, Andrews, was Chandy’s first cousin and would be appointed consultant to the project and that he would operate from Abu Dhabi.

Kuruvilla had also submitted that Nair had named one Diljith as another director of SCOSSA who, he claimed, was the private secretary to Oommen Chandy and contended that the former Chief Minister too was jointly liable to return his money.