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Solar scam: No FIR against Kerala CM for two months; HC stays Vigilance Court’s order

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In a big relief for Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, the Kerala High Court, Friday, put a stay on a vigilance court’s directive that a FIR be lodged against him in the Solar Scam case.

Chandy was under intense pressure from the opposition to resign as CM since on Thursday when the vigilance court passed it order.

chandySaritha S Nair, an accused in the solar scam, had told the judicial commission that she had paid Chandy a bribe of Rs 1.90 crore and Muhammed Rs 40 lakh to win government subsidy and other benefits for her solar power venture.

Vigilance Judge S S Vassan acted upon a public interest litigation filed by activist P D Joseph who produced the newspaper reports regarding Nair’s statement. The court forwarded the complaint to the VACB Director to investigate under section 156 (3) of Cr PC.

Amid violent protests, Chandy had on Friday morning moved the petition in High Court seeking to quash the FIR ordered against him by Thrissur court.

Following which, the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) members held a massive protest which turned violent as the police resorted to using teargas to disperse the crowd. Outside the Kerala Secretariat, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) youth wing also agitated demanding Chandy’s ouster.

Veteran Left leader VS Achuthanandan said: “The Chief Minister has to resign. These are the circumstances under which (ministers) KM Mani and K Babu resigned.” Mr. Babu won reprieve as the High Court cancelled a vigilance court order for a police case against him.

Assembly polls are due in Kerala this year and the Opposition is expected to use the solar scam to target Mr Chandy and the United Democratic Front that his Congress party leads.

The Thrissur vigilance court had ordered FIR against the two after solar scam accused Saritha Nair alleged that Chandy was paid Rs. 1.90 crore and Muhammed Rs. 40 lakh as bribe in exchange for government favours.

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