Crime branch names Oommen Chandy, Venugopal as accused in rape case
The Crime Branch of the Kerala Police has registered cases against former chief minister Oommen Chandy and MP K C Venugopal, on a complaint of sexual misconduct filed by Solar scam accused Saritha S Nair
Thiruvananthapuram: The Crime Branch of the Kerala Police has registered cases against former chief minister Oommen Chandy and MP K C Venugopal, on a complaint of sexual misconduct filed by Solar scam accused Saritha S Nair.
Confirming the development, Director General of Police (DGP) Loknath Behara said the cases against the two leaders were lodged on the basis of a complaint from Nair.
"Let the law take its own course," he told reporters at Thiruvananthapuram.
A Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by Superintendent of Police (SP) Abdul Karim, was constituted to probe the cases, the DGP added.
Reacting to the development, Chandy said they were prepared to face the cases legally. He claimed the cases were "politically motivated". By lodging the cases now, the attempt of the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government in the state was to deflect the attention of the people from the Sabarimala issue, Chandy told reporters.
Nair has alleged in her complaint that Chandy had sexually exploited her at Cliff House, the official residence of the chief minister, in 2012, while Venugopal had raped her at Rose House, the residence of then state minister A P Anil Kumar.
The previous United Democratic Front (UDF) government had formed the G Sivarajan Commission when the allegations against Nair and Biju Radhakrishanan that they had duped several people of crores of rupees by offering them solar panel solutions had surfaced.
The 1,073-page, four-volume report of the commission, tabled in the state Assembly on November 9 last year, had found that Chandy and four of his personal staff -- Tenny Joppan, Jikkumon Jacon, gunman Salimraj and Kuruvilla, his aid in Delhi, -- had "assisted" Nair and her company, Team Solar, in enabling them to cheat their customers.
The report also contained details of the controversial letter written by Nair on July 19, 2013 to the police commissioner, in which she had levelled charges of sexual misconduct and corruption against various Congress and UDF leaders, including Chandy, some of his ministers and two former Union ministers.
The Kerala High Court had in May expunged the Solar Commission's findings against Chandy based on Nair's letter, while partly allowing a petition filed by the Congress leader, seeking to quash the panel's findings against him