HC acquits Pinarayi Vijayan in Lavalin case

Pauline Gross
August 24, 2017

The court gave its verdict in a revision petition filed by the CBI in the Kerala High Court in 2014 challenging the discharge of Vijayan and six others in the case by a special CBI court in Thiruvananthapuram.

Several politicians were involved and eventually charged in the case, including former ministers of Indian National Congress G. Karthikeyan and Pinarayi Vijayan, the first ever corruption-related prosecution of a Politburo member by the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

"I am really happy truth has finally prevailed". It was due to the CAG report that the Kerala High Court had ordered a CBI inquiry against Pinarayi Vijayan and others in January 2007.

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday upheld Pinarayi Vijayan's acquittal in the controversial SNC-Lavalin case.

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The court, however, allowed the CBI petition in part by setting aside the discharge of three other accused, who were officials of KSEB. Senior Supreme Court lawyer Harish Salve had appeared for Pinarayi in the HC. But the second, third and fourth accused in the case shall face further proceedings over the case.

The party Politburo said in a statement that the case was sought to be used to "besmirch" the image of Vijayan and the party and added the court verdict has "effectively exposed these efforts". It also makes things easier for Pinarayi as the Canadian firm SNC-Lavalin was an albatross around his neck for the past two decades. The contract was given by the then Congress-led UDF government.

The report noted that it was after discussions with a delegation headed by the power minister in October 1996 that a contract for technical services signed seven months before was converted into a contract for the supply of goods and services for the renovation of Pallivasal, Sengulam and Panniar power stations. A Vigilance inquiry could not find anything against him, but once the Left parties repealed support to the United Progressive Alliance I government, it was chose to rake up the issue and entrust the case with the CBI. The total deal was worth Rs 374 crore and as per the contract sanctioned by the state cabinet, the company was supposed to provide a grant of Rs 98.30 crore to the Malabar Cancer Institute.

The Special Court had said that no conspiracy could be proved.

Other reports by GizPress

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