Evidence exists to nail Pinarayi Vijayan in SNC Lavalin case: CBI

Thiruvananthapuram, July 31 : A CBI probe team Wednesday submitted an affidavit in a CBI court here claiming that it had sufficient evidence to link Pinarayi Vijayan, secretary of the Kerala unit of the Communist Party of India-Marxist, to the SNC Lavalin case relating to the renovation of three power plants.

In June 2009, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed charge-sheets against nine accused in the Rs.374-crore scam related to the Canada-based SNC Lavalin company.

Vijayan, as then state power minister, had inked the final agreement in 1997 for the renovation of three power plants with SNC Lavalin. He was arraigned as the seventh accused.

The CBI filed the affidavit after after Vijayan approached the CBI court with a discharge petition claiming he had done no wrong.

In its statement to the CBI court, the premier investigating agency said Vijayan made a trip to Canada to finalise the agreement but was not accompanied by any expert.

The CBI also pointed out that Vijayan went ahead with the agreement despite being asked not to do so by the then power secretary.

The CBI, however, gave a clean chit to Kerala assembly speaker G. Karthikeyan, who was the power minister before Vijayan.

Incidentally, last month, the Kerala High Court directed that the trial in the SNC Lavalin case could go on, after splitting the charge-sheet in the case.

It was following this verdict that the case was opened up, enabling Vijayan to file the discharge petition.

Vijayan is currently on bail. The case generated huge public interest, as it was the first time that a CPI-M politburo member was appearing before a court to secure bail in a corruption case.

The court will now take up the case August 7.

--IANS (Posted on 31-07-2013)

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