CBI gives clean chit to Oommen Chandy in sexual exploitation case
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has given a clean chit to former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in the sexual exploitation allegation levelled by a woman, who is the prime accused in the sensational solar scam that had rocked the southern state when his government was in power nearly a decade ago.
The CBI, which carried out a detailed enquiry in the case, submitted a referral report in the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court here on Tuesday, exonerating Chandy in the case, prompting the Congress to seek apology from Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for recommending the Central agency probe into the allegation made by the accused woman.
The CBI also submitted another referral report in the court exonerating BJP leader A P Abdullakutty in the sexual exploitation complaint by the woman.
The case against Abdullakutty was registered in 2014 when he was a Congress MLA from Kannur. He later joined BJP.
The CBI had earlier submitted referral reports in the court giving clean chit 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, party leaders said.
Sources said that the CBI probe has found that there was no basis for the womans allegation against Chandy as there was no evidence to prove that she had gone to the official residence of then Chief Minister on that particular day.
The CBI has also found that it was a fabricated case, the sources further said.
Chandy said at no point was he worried about the outcome of the investigation as he always had good faith that truth could not be concealed.
He said he had no objection against any agency probing the solar scam.
“My public life has always been an open book before the people. I have done nothing against my conscience. I have not tried to hide anything from people,” Chandy said in a statement here reacting to the development.
The senior Congress leader is currently undergoing treatment at a hospital in Bengaluru for some ailments, his office said.
A relieved Abdullakutty, who is also the chairman of the Central Haj Committee, said, “The truth prevailed in the end…it is a relief.”
He said he has nothing new to react to in the wake of the present development other than the sentence he had said during the time of the controversy.
“I swore in the name of my two children that I had never even seen the complainant in my life….this was my response then and I have not bothered to explain anything on the matter till date after that…now the truth has triumphed…that is a relief,” he said.
In a letter to the police commissioner on July 19, 2013, the woman had levelled charges of sexual misconduct and corruption against the Congress leaders, including Chandy, some of his ministers and two former Union ministers.
Ruling CPI(M) said it would react after studying the matter.
Expressing happiness over Chandy and other leaders of the party being exonerated by the CBI in the sexual exploitation complaint, the Congress urged Chief Minister Vijayan to tender an apology to them and their family members.
Vijayan had handed over the case to the CBI deliberately for insulting five senior party leaders including Chandy, the opposition party alleged.
The State police also could not find any evidence against them though they held inquiries in the solar case three times, it further said.
“The CBI has found that it is a case without any evidence. Pinarayi Vijayan should apologise to the leaders, including Chandy and their family members,” Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly V D Satheesan told reporters in Kochi.
“Who would own up to the responsibility and give an answer for the pain and humiliation suffered by the leaders and their family members?” Satheesan asked. He said such attempts to intentionally insult political leaders should not be repeated anymore.
Kerala PCC president K Sudhakaran also did not hide his happiness in the acquittal of Chandy and said the Central agency conducted an honest probe in the case.
Vijayan had thought that Chandy could be trapped through the case, but his intention did not materialise, Sudhakaran alleged while speaking to reporters in Kannur.
Satirically “thanking” Vijayan for handing over the case to the CBI, the Congress leader said it has actually turned out to be good for Chandy.
Last year, the CBI took over the investigation into cases against Chandy and other politicians related to allegations of sexual exploitation by the accused woman.
The cases against the six people, including Chandy, were registered over the last 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.
The opposition Congress had dubbed the move as “politically motivated”, saying the LDF government could not find anything against the party leaders and took the decision as elections were round the corner.
(With Agency inputs)