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Used to sign 60 papers in a minute as CM: Chandy to panel

Used to sign 60 papers in a minute as CM: Chandy to panel

Kochi: Deposing before a judicial commission probing the solar panel scam, former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Thursday said that at times he used to sign 60 papers in a minute during his stint as CM.

Chandy said he used to meet 500 to 1000 people a day but could not "register" them in his mind.

The senior Congress leader said this during his cross-examination by a lawyer.

The lawyer has alleged that Chandy was hiding the fact from the Commission that he did know since 2011 the prime accused in the scam --Saritha S Nair and her accomplice Biju Radhakrishnan.

Biju Radhakrishnan and his partner Saritha S Nair had allegedly duped investors by claiming that they are close to "high and mighty" in the state government, during the previous Congress-led UDF rule.

When the lawyer pointed out that Chandy had signed a letter addressed to R B Nair-- a fake name of Biju Radhakrishnan--in 2011 acknowledging his Rs two lakh contribution to the Chief Minister's relief fund, Chandy said there were days in which he had signed around 500 files.

"During my mass contact programmes used to be held in district headquarters, I used to sign 2000 to 5000 papers a day. Papers that were signed used to be prepared on the basis of certain norms set for them. I used to sign 60 papers in a minute," Chandy said, referring to the style of functioning he adopted as the state Chief Minister.

When the Commission wondered how he could sign one paper in a secondwithout reading it, Chandy said such papers were prepared and set for signing based on certain laid down norms.

The Commission, headed by former High Court judge Justice Sivarajan, then asked whether Chandy as the Chief Minister, had relied only on those people whom he had faith and only such peoplewere involved by him for carrying out such works.

The state government had appointed Justice Sivarajan to head the one-man commission on October 23, 2013, to probe the scam pertaining to alleged duping of investors by Biju Radhakrishnan and his partner Saritha S Nair, who allegedly collected crores of rupees for a solar power project.

The two had allegedly canvassed the business by using top-level names, including that of Chandy.

While Saritha was granted bail after remaining behind bars for about nine months, Radhakrishnan is still in jail in connection with the alleged murder of his wife.

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