Solar scam accused Saritha S Nair has been sentenced to six years of rigorous imprisonment by a court in Kozhikode, in a cheating case related to the solar panel scam that rocked Kerala during the previous Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) rule.
The multi-crore scam involves numerous similar cheating cases. In the present case in which she is now convicted, Saritha was the second accused. According to a complaint filed by Kozhikode native Abdul Majeed with the police in 2012, the two accused -- Saritha and her partner Biju Radhakrishnan had taken Rs 42.70 lakh from him for providing a franchise of their company besides installing solar panels in his office and house. But, neither was the contract executed nor the money refunded, the complainant stated.
Judicial First Class Magistrate-III K Nimmi acquitted the third accused B Manimon, while the verdict against Biju Radhakrishnan, the first accused in this case, was put on hold for pronouncement later as he was under quarantine.
The court awarded the imprisonment in four different crimes including cheating. A fine of Rs 10,000 has been pronounced in four crimes, totalling Rs 40,000.
Acting on a warrant issued by the court, Saritha was arrested from her residence in Thiruvananthapuram by the investigating officer last week and remanded to judicial custody after being brought to Kozhikode. The warrant was issued against her as she failed to appear in court.
The trial court was to deliver the judgement in February but since the accused did not turn up, the pronouncement had to be postponed.
Saritha S Nair and her accomplice Biju Radhakrishnan had swindled many people of crores of rupees promising to install solar panels and offering franchise and jobs in their company, Team Solar Renewable Energy Solutions Company.
The solar scam was a major jolt to the Oommen Chandy led UDF government, as many Congress leaders including the former CM Chandy were caught in various controversies regarding the scam, including allegations of sexual assault.