In a relief to former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and former Power Minister Aryadan Mohammed, the Kerala High Court on Friday quashed proceedings initiated by the Vigilance Court in Thrissur against them in connection with bribery charge in the solar scam. Justice B Kemal Pasha, allowing a petition by Chandy and Mohammed, said the vigilance court had acted in a haste and the complaint does not disclose anything even for a quick verification.
On January 28, Inquiry Commissioner and Special Judge Thrissur S S Vassan had directed Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau Director to register an FIR on a private complaint by a social worker on bribery charges against Chandy and Mohammed levelled by solar scam prime accused Saritha S Nair before a judicial commission probing the matter.
The high court in an interim order on the very next day suspended the Vigilance court order, observing that it had acted mechanically without knowing the nature and extent of its powers. Saritha, while deposing before the Justice G Sivarajan Commission, had alleged that she had paid bribes to the tune of Rs 1.90 crore to a close aide of Chandy and Rs 40 lakh to Mohammed. Setting aside the FIR and further proceddings, Justice Pasha said the complaint in the vigilanec court was not worth to be accepted by a court of law.
The Judge said necessity of quick verification comes up only when a complaint reveals some probable allegation of corruption and hearsay cannot be treated as a material for investigation. Mere 'revelation' by Saritha before the commission cannot be said to be a matter to be acted upon in any manner when she has not stood for cross-examination fully, he said. Justice Pasha also said since the matter narrated by the petitioner was within the knowledge of Saritha, by any stretch of imagination, the complainant cannot be permitted to assume role of Saritha.