CBI approaches special court in Kochi over Kerala solar cheating
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday approached a special court in Kochi in connection with a sexual assault case filed by the key accused in the ‘solar cheating’ case against Congress MP Hibi Eden, and said that the petitioner’s statements were contradictory and she failed to submit any evidence to substantiate her allegations. A senior CBI official said the case will be formally closed once the agency gets the nod from the court.
The Kerala government had handed over the sexual harassment complaints against Congress leaders to the CBI in 2021 upon the petitioner’s request. The young MP from Kochi has now welcomed the CBI’s decision and said “truth will prevail”.
In her complaint, she alleged that she was sexually exploited by Eden, then a legislator, in the MLA hostel in 2012. She had raised similar complaints against five others, including former CM Oommen Chandy, AICC general secretary KC Venugopal, former minister AP Anil Kumar, Congress MP Adoor Prakash and BJP leader AP Abdullah Kutty.
The survivor is the prime accused in solar cheating case, which relates to an alleged case of cheating by a couple after floating a company called ‘Team Solar’ in 2013. They reportedly duped many people with the promise of stake in the firm and good returns from selling imported solar panels. They allegedly cultivated good contacts in the corridors of power and flaunted them to attract gullible investors.
The incident surfaced in 2014 and 60 cases were registered against the two. Then CM Chandy had sacked two of his private secretaries and the state public relations director when their names allegedly cropped up in the case. It was one of the reasons for the Congress’ drubbing in the 2016 assembly elections. In her complaint, the survivor, who was also convicted in seven cheating cases and let out on bail, alleged that she was subjected to sexual abuse by the accused in return for favours.
A court in January ordered former chief minister and CPI(M) leader VS Achuthanandan to pay ₹10.10 lakh to Congress leader Oommen Chandy as defamation charges for making ‘frivolous allegations’ in the case.
In an interview to a news channel in July 2013, the then opposition leader Achuthanandan alleged that CM Chandy was behind the fictitious solar firm and he was aware about the cheating case.
He also claimed that Chandy had accepted a portion of the commission from the main accused for the ‘help’.
(Except for the headline and the pictorial description, this story has not been edited by THE DEN staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)