A deemed stay was also issued till 24 January on the verdict of payment of the compensation amount.

Ex-Kerala CM Oommen Chandy appears before Bluru court in solar scam case adjourned
news Solar Scam Monday, January 02, 2017 - 15:34

Former Kerala Chief Minister and Congress leader Oommen Chandy appeared before a Bengaluru court on Monday in connection with a cheating case in the solar scam that has rocked Kerala  since 2014.

This was the first time the veteran Congress leader appeared before the Bengaluru Civil Court, after a city-based businessman MK Kuruvila filed a cheating case against Chandy in March 2015.

The court had, in October 2016, issued an ex-parte verdict, asking Chandy and five other accused to pay a sum of Rs 1.6 crore to Kuruvila, including 12% interest and other court expenses within a period of six months.

The court met on Monday to consider Chandy's petition to set aside the ex-parte verdict. Judge NR Chenna Kesava adjourned the hearing to 09 January. A deemed stay was also issued till 24 January on the verdict of payment of the compensation amount. Chandy was ordered to be present for every court hearing henceforth.

In an affidavit submitted through the defendant’s -Chandy is the fifth accused in the case- counsels  Monica Patil and Joseph Antony explained the circumstances which led to his absence from the court on earlier occasions.

The affidavit pointed out that Chandy's earlier counsel Advocate Santhosh had failed to inform the leader about the summons issued earlier. 

How it played out in court

A little after 10.30 am, Chandy appeared in court hall number 66 along with his counsel and son. Though the hearing was slated for 11 am, the hearing was postponed to 12.30 pm, owing to the absence of Kuruvila and his counsel. 

After Chandy's counsel submitted the affidavit, Kuruvila's lawyer sought more time to study the same, even though a copy was given to the prosecution counsel two weeks ago.

Kuruvila's lawyer pointed out that Chandy's lawyer had submitted two different affidavits and that he needed two days to go through both, before cross-examining Chandy. Terming it a miscellaneous petition, the judge however gave Kuruvila's counsel time only till 3pm to prepare for his cross-examination of Chandy.

Kuruvila's counsel Jayadeva argued: "Just because Chandy is a former Chief Minister does not mean that we don't get enough time to study the affidavit and cross-examine him." He also accused Chandy of trying to unnecessarily prolong the case by filing a counter-petition. 

Chandy's counsel Monica Patil submitted in court that Kuruvila had expressed willingness to settle the matter out of court, as he understood that his case was weak.