Will examine any UDF request to probe alleged conspiracy to implicate Chandy in sex scandal: Kerala CM

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan says his government will take legal action on any request by the opposition for a CBI probe into the alleged criminal conspiracy to implicate Oommen Chandy in a sexual exploitation case.
Former Kerala CM late Oommen Chandy
Former Kerala CM late Oommen Chandy

Thiruvananthapuram | Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday said his government would legally examine and take requisite action on any request by the Congress-led UDF opposition for a CBI probe into the alleged criminal conspiracy to implicate Oommen Chandy in a sexual exploitation case.

Vijayan said that while there was no material before the government to take such action on its own, if the opposition provides the same with its request, it would be considered.

The CM was responding to the debate on UDF's motion for adjourning the House to discuss the issue of the alleged conspiracy which was reportedly mentioned in a report filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) before a magisterial court recently.

The report was filed in connection with the probe initiated by the agency, on the request of the LDF government in the state, based on a complaint by the prime accused in the sensational solar scam that had rocked the state nearly a decade ago when the UDF was in power.

Vijayan said the government has not yet officially received the CBI report and therefore, it was not in a position to comment on it or take any action based on it.

In such a scenario, any discussion on the issue would not be based on facts or the law and therefore, the adjournment motion should be rejected.

In view of the stand taken by the CM, the motion was rejected by Speaker A N Shamseer.

The notice for adjournment was moved by Congress MLA Shafi Parambil on the same day that Chandy's son, Chandy Oommen, took oath as an MLA after trouncing his main rival Jaick C Thomas of the CPI(M) by a margin of 37,719 votes in the recently held bypoll for the Puthuppally constituency.

The September 5 bypoll for Puthuppally constituency in Kottayam district was necessitated following the death of Oommen Chandy on July 18.

Parambil, during the discussion on the adjournment motion, alleged that the Left front "targetted and hunted" Chandy and his family for several years and even dragged his name through the mud in connection with sexual exploitation accusations.

He further alleged that the accusations were levelled against Chandy as part of a "criminal conspiracy" to topple the then UDF government and defame him and demanded that the CPI(M) publicly apologise for the same.

He also demanded a probe to ascertain the alleged role, if any, of the CM and his government regarding the sexual exploitation accusations against the Congress stalwart.

During the over two-hour long discussion on the issue, several UDF MLAs, including Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan, also alleged that Vijayan was the main person behind the criminal conspiracy to "crucify" Chandy.

Some UDF MLAs also stated that Kerala Congress (B) MLA K B Ganesh Kumar's name finds mention in the CBI report according to which he had procured the complainant's letter containing the accusations.

Ganesh, the sole MLA of Kerala Congress (B) which is a part of the LDF, denied the allegations and said he was never in touch with the complainant.

He said that neither he nor his late father had any role in the matter.

Ganesh is the son of Kerala Congress stalwart and former state minister R Balakrishna Pillai.

He also said that his father had stated that Chandy's name was not there in the letter in question and the same was communicated to the CBI when it questioned him.

Opposing the UDF allegations, several LDF MLAs, including K T Jaleel, said it was the Congress itself which had "stabbed" Chandy in the back and that factions within the grand old party were the ones who "hunted" the late Kerala CM.

"Chandy Oommen, we are your political opponents, not your enemies. Your political enemies are on your side," Jaleel said.

The LDF also alleged that it was factions within the Congress which engineered the ISRO spy case to target K Karunakaran and levelled false allegations against party stalwart P T Chacko which eventually resulted in his downfall in the early 1960s.

Some Left front MLAs also questioned the propriety of raising the issue on the same day when Oommen took oath as an MLA and contended that it amounted to "cruelty" towards him and his family.

Towards the end of the discussion, the CM termed as 'baseless' the opposition claims and said his government sought a CBI probe on the complainant's complaint in accordance with law after getting legal advise from experts, including the then Advocate General.

Vijayan said his government was never interested in swaying the probe outcome in their favour and did not target Chandy.

Earlier in the day, while agreeing to discuss the issue in the House, Vijayan said making any comments on the matter would not be possible as the government was yet to officially receive the CBI report.

The CM also said that without officially getting the report, the government cannot take any steps merely based on news articles about the contents of the document in question.

The CBI in December last year had given a clean chit to Chandy in the sexual exploitation allegation levelled by a woman, who is the prime accused in the sensational solar scam.

The CBI had earlier submitted referral reports in the court giving clean chits to four other Congress leaders including AICC general secretary K C Venugopal, Lok Sabha MPs Adoor Prakash and Hibi Eden, and MLA A P Anil Kumar who were named as accused in the sexual exploitation case filed by the woman.

The cases against the six people, including Chandy, were registered over the past few years and investigated by the Crime Branch of the Kerala Police based on a complaint by the woman, an accused in the multi-crore solar panel scam during the UDF government, that she was sexually exploited by them in 2012.

The CPI(M)-led Kerala government had recommended a CBI inquiry into the cases in January 2021, a few months ahead of the polls to the state assembly.

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