Thursday was a highly charged day in the Kerala political circles, for the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government was set to table the 1073 page Solar Commission inquiry report in the Assembly.
The United Democratic Front (UDF), that is in the opposition in the state, was the centre of attention, as the Commission report named several top Congress leaders, including former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
Apart from finding that leaders like Oommen Chandy and Aryadan Mohammed had taken bribes, the Commission has recommended that allegations of sexual assault and rape by the first accused Saritha S Nair against senior members of the Congress be probed.
Solar Commission, headed by retired Justice G Sivarajan has taken cognizance of a letter written by Saritha on August 19, 2013, in which she has accused leaders including Oommen Chandy, then transport minister Aryadan Mohammed, Hibi Eden, Adoor Prakash, among others, of sexually harassing her.
In her letter, Saritha Nair alleged that Oommen Chandy physically exploited her and made her perform sexual favours at the Cliff house several times. This, apart from allegedly taking Rs 2 crore and 16 lakh from her.
The report says that the United Democratic Front led by the Congress received the money as reward from Team Solar for giving assurance to set up the Solar Power Plant.
"Oommen Chandy, who had to consider me as a daughter, had sexually exploited me. Chandy now says that he hadn't met me, he didn't know me and nothing had happened between us," says the report, quoting from Saritha's letter.
Saritha in her letter had rubbished Oommen Chandy's initial claims that he did not know her and has questioned if he had made her perform sexual acts without knowing who she was.
After scrutinising the phone calls of Oommen Chandy's staff, the Commission has deduced that Chandy did know Saritha well.
Further, she has alleged that then minister Aryadan Mohammed, Minister for Tourism AP Anil Kumar, sexually harassed and exploited her. Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash not only sexually harassed her, but also indulged in telephone sex, Saritha alleged.
One of the youngest Congress MLAs Hibi Eden has also been accused of sexually harassing Saritha at MLA hostel.
In her letter, Saritha had alleged that former Union Minister of state for Civil Aviation KC Venugopal had raped her in a drunken state and that he has indulged in telephone sex and further threatened her.
She also accused Jose K Mani of misbehaving with her in a function in Delhi and subsequently taking sexual favours from her.
Other people Saritha had accused of sexually harassing her are MOS Finance Palani Manickam, KPCC General Secretary N Subramaniyan, IG K Padmakumar, former Kochi Commissioner Ajith Kumar.
What does the Commission report say?
"Going by this letter if the facts stated therein are true, then, the allegations raised in the Assembly and outside as settled by the Commission has got basis and the persons dealt with in the letter, it can be seen, had assisted Team Solar Company and its two Directors Saritha S Nair and Biju Radhakrishnan one way or the other," the Commission observed. It is a matter to be considered with reference to the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
"Illegal gratification contemplated under the PC Act need not be confined to money or any other property. Giving sexual satisfaction, according to Commission is also one coming under gratification, Section & (b) of the PC Act," the Commission said.
Although the Government Pleader argued that sex is not the subject matter for inquiry by this Commission, the Commission, accepting that "sex and sexual satisfaction are matters which vary from person to person," noted:
"But if sex and sexual satisfaction are sought by a public servant or somebody for getting something done by a public servant in discharge of his official duties certainly the position is different."
In the Solar cases, the sex and sexual satisfaction are connected with public servants who are the heads of the administration, the Commission pointed out.
The Commission has asked to inquire whether there is any substance in the allegations. The persons mentioned in Saritha's letter were found to have been in contact with her and her advocate, the Commission noted.