Updated: October 31, 2019 7:24:01 pm
A Coimbatore court on Thursday sentenced Saitha Nair, the prime accused in the 2013 solar scandal which roiled the previous Congress-led government in Kerala, and two others to three years in prison.
Sixth Judicial Magistrate K R Kannan held Saritha, her husband Biju Radhakrishnan and C Ravi, who were directors in the ICMS Power company, guilty of cheating two investors in the city of over Rs 32 lakh after promising to set up wind mills about ten years ago.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on the three.
Nair, who floated a company to sell solar panels, is accused of cheating the public and using contacts in the chief minister’s office and names of other influential Congress leaders to buy favours. She faces 40-odd cases of cheating in the scam.
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In 2017, a judicial commission which probed the scam, submitted a report attesting that top Congress leaders in the state purchased contracts and gave out subsidies to Nair’s firm in return for bribes and sexual favours. Former chief minister Oommen Chandy has also been named in the report.
In the 2016 Assembly elections, the CPI(M), then in the opposition, had made the scandal the focal point of their campaign against the Congress-led UDF. The scam and its expansive nature of corruption charges, many believe, propelled the Left parties to power winning 91 seats out of the state’s 140. The Congress-led UDF was reduced to 47 from its earlier tally of 72 seats.
Earlier this year, Nair had expressed her desire to contest the Lok Sabha elections as an Independent and had also filed her nomination papers from Wayanad and Ernakulam constituencies. The returning officers, however, rejected her papers on grounds that she was facing criminal cases.
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