Memo of charges issued to N V Raju
Kochi: Kerala High Court today issued memo of charges to N V Raju, former Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic offences) court here for alleged procedural lapses in recording the statements of solar scam accused Saritha S Nair.
In an administrative order, the High Court Registrar ordered Raju to file his reply within 15 days.
Though in June last year, an administrative comittee of the court, headed by the Chief Justice, had decided to issue a memo of charges to Raju, the charges were finalised only two days ago.
The High Court Vigilance Wing had conducted a preliminary inquiry into the alleged lapses of Raju on complaints that the magistrate had rejected Saritha’s request to record her statement when she was produced before the magistrate on July 20, 2013.
The complaints were filed by K Surendran, BJP State General Secretary and A Jayasankar, General Secretary, Indian Association of Lawyers, Kerala chapter.
The Vigilance Registrar in his report had stated that the accused should have been given the required materials such as pen and paper to write down her statement.
Procedural lapses of the magistrate’s court, especially its decision not to record Saritha’s complaint after listening to her for nearly 20 minutes, had drawn flak from various quarters.
The report had stated that if the magistrate had provided Saritha material for preparing a complaint, instead of asking her to write one from prison, the controversies could have been avoided.
The solar scam that surfaced in 2013 had rocked the UDF government in Kerala as three staff members of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy were found to have links with Saritha.
Following widespread protests and condemnation, Chandy had sacked the staff members.
Opposition LDF had launched a series of agitation seeking resignation of the Chief Minister on the issue.