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Rape allegations against Congress leaders; case referred to CBI.

The CPM-led state government has decided to recommend the rape cases filed against Congress leader Oommen Chandy and his other party colleagues to the CBI. The case was registered based on complaints filed by a woman accused in the 2013 solar scam.

The woman claimed she was violated by Chandy, AICC general secretary KC Venugopal, Congress MPs Hibi Eden, and Adoor Prakash, and former minister A P Anil Kumar. Then Congress leader A P Abdullakutty, who later joined the BJP and became its national vice-president, is also an accused. Although the woman had earlier complained against Kerala Congress (M) leader Jose K Mani, who recently joined the LDF, no case has been filed against him. The state Home Department on Saturday published a gazette notification, saying the government has decided to refer five cases, registered in 2016, 2018, and 2019, to the CBI.

The judicial commission which investigated the solar scam had recommended in 2017 that a case for sexual abuse be filed against Chandy, Venugopal, and other Congress leaders. The woman, in a letter to the commission, had alleged that Chandy and others sexually abused her and allowed her solar firm to make unlawful gains when Congress was in power. Thereafter, the CPM government probed the registration of criminal cases against Chandy and others, but there was little progress in the cases as the government got conflicting legal advice. Also, Chandy approached the High Court, which nullified the case against him and restrained the media from debating the contents of the letter.

The woman then filed new complaints against the Congress leaders and fresh cases were filed. Recently, she approached Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, seeking a CBI probe into the cases.

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