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Former CJM Raju says Saritha told him she was sexually assaulted

Former CJM Raju says Saritha told him she was sexually assaulted

Kochi: N V Raju, former Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic offences) court here, on Friday said solar scam accused Saritha Nair had told him that she was sexually assaulted.

In his reply to the memo of charges issued by the High Court for alleged procedural lapses in recording the statements of Saritha, Raju said he had asked her to give it in written form if she wanted to file a complaint for rape.

He further told the Solar Commission that he did not note down the names Saritha mentioned in her statement.

“The statement is recorded considering the character of the complaint. I did not record her statement as the matter was not related to the case. She spoke to me just for five-six minutes,” Raju said.

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.

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