Pathanamthitta | In the first verdict in the sensational solar panel scam which hit Kerala two years ago, a lower court today sentenced prime accused Saritha S Nair and her accomplice Biju Radhakrishnan to three years jail and imposed a hefty fine after finding them guilty of cheating and forgery.
The verdict was delivered by Judicial First Class Magistrate R Jayakrishnan on a complaint by NRI Baburaj that the accused had swindled about Rs 1.19 crore from him by offering a share in their company Team Solar and the post of Director. Both the convicts were present in the court. While Biju is behind bars since the past one year in connection with the murder of his wife, Saritha is out on bail.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 45 lakh on Saritha and Rs 75 lakh on Biju Radhakrishnan. It was also found them guilty of charges of fabricating documents and swindling money. This is the first verdict in one of the 33 cases involving a total amount of Rs 6.85 crore registered in connection with the solar panel scam. A special investigation team was probing the case.
Solar scam pertains to cheating of several persons of crores of rupees by Saritha and Radhakrishnan by offering solar panel solutions. The duo canvassed business by using high-level names, including that of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, according to the prosecution.
The case that came to light in June 2013 took a political turn as three of Chandy’s staff members were forced to quit and one of them, Tenny Joppen, was arrested over their alleged link with Saritha.
The opposition had launched a vociferous agitation pressing for Chandy’s resignation. Following opposition pressure, the government had also set up a judicial commission to probe the scam. The commission is in the process of taking evidences from various witnesses.
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