Bangalore City Magistrate court, on Monday, directed five persons, including former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to pay a joint amount of Rs 1,60,85,700 to a Bengaluru-based businessman M K Kuruvilla, with 12 per cent interest.
Holding Chandy jointly liable for paying back the money to the petitioner in the case by a firm for a solar power project which did not materialise, the court said "six defendants, including Chandy and SCOSSA Educational Consultants Private Limited, shall pay the decreetal (ordered) sum Rs 1,60,85,700 to the plaintiff with current and future interest at 12 per cent per annum."
Additional City Civil and Sessions Judge N R Chennakeshava in his order, also said the defendants in the case are "jointly and severally liable to pay the said sum to the firm."
He said the defendants must comply with the order within six months from today failing which Kuruvilla will be entitled to recover the determined amount from the defendants, in accordance with law.
Kuruvilla had filed a petition last year seeking return of Rs 1,60,85,700 deposited with SCOSSA Educational Consultants Private Limited, the first defendent, for setting up a solar power project in Kerala.
According to Kuruvilla, during 2011, he got acquainted with Binu Nair who claimed to be the director of Kochi-based SCOSSA. Nair had approached him for setting up a solar power project.
Nair had claimed that one of the directors, Andrews, was Chandy's first cousin and would be appointed consultant and operate from Abu Dhabi for setting up the project.
Also, he had named another person Diljith and claimed that he too was a director in the firm besides being a youth Congress activist. Nair had claimed that Diljith was the private secretary to Chandy.
Kuruvilla said he gave Rs 1.35 crore to the three persons. After the money was handed over, the trio did not answer to his phone calls and allegedly threatened that his entire family would be eliminated.
The Bengaluru-based businessman, in his petition, had sought Rs 1,60,85,700 with 18 per cent interest per annum on the deposited sum along with court expenses. The court allowed the plea with an interest of 12 per cent.
"Since the project did not materialise, and the money remained with SCOSSA Educational Consultants Private Limited, I filed a petition in the court to get back the money," Kuruvilla told PTI here.