In a setback to former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, a Bengaluru sessions court on Monday asked six accused including Chandy to pay a compensation of Rs 1.5 crore to Bengaluru-based businessman MK Kuruvila.
The judgment comes in a cheating case related to the infamous solar scam of Kerala.
Judge NR Chenna Kesava gave an ex-parte order which means that only one side (in this case the prosecution) was heard.
The court's verdict is based on a recovery suite filed by Kuruvila in March 2015. Kuruvila alleged that in 2011 and 2012 he had repeatedly been summoned to New Delhi by people working in Oommen Chandy‚Äôs office and they took a bribe of Rs 1 crore 35 thousand.
To back his allegations, Kuruvila had submitted challan copies of the money he had transferred to various bank accounts belonging to some of the accused.
While Chandy is the fifth accused in the case, the other accused are Youth Congress General Secretary Beljith and SCOSSA educational consultants company owner Binu Nair and the company itself.
Kuruvila said in his complaint that he knew Oommen Chandy through his close relative Andrews-who is the first accused in the case. Kuruvila alleged that he had spoken to Chandy on phone and that Chandy had received over a crore rupees from him.
Kuruvila had fallen into the solar web through Saritha Nair, the woman known as the brain behind the scam.
Saritha had promised Kuruvila a franchise of the solar panel firm and put him in touch with Chandy‚Äôs office.
In his complaint, Kuruvila alleged that Chandy‚Äôs office had promised to let him run a franchise selling exported solar panels.
The court in its order said that Chandy and five others should pay Rs 1Cr 51 lakhs which includes 12% interest and court charges within six months. The court order says that if the accused fail to pay the amount within six months, then Kuruvila can initiate recovery ‚Äėprocedure‚Äô.
The court was forced to give an exparte order as all the accused failed to appear in court and ignored two summons.
An exparte case means a case decieded on behalf of one party when the other party is fails to appear before the court or give its version.
Such cases are decided if the judge is convinced of the urgency of the matter. In the past, the Supreme Court has laid down regulations under which a judge can pass an exparte order. If a judge or magistrate is convinced that documents in a particular case are not forged, then they can issue an exparte order.
The aggreivied party (in this case Oommen Chandy and the order accused) can approach a higher court for relief.
Responding to media, Oommen Chandy said that he will file for appeal after receiving copy of the judgement. Calling the judgement "one-sided," Oommen Chandy said that the court has given judgement without hearing his side.
Meanwhile, the CPI (M) and other leaders including VS Achuthandan has demanded Oommen Chandy‚Äôs resignation as MLA.