For the second time in the last 10 days, Congress leader and former Electricity Minister G. Karthikeyan was questioned by the CBI in connection with a graft case relating to a 1998 contract with a Canadian company, in which the Communist Party of India (Marxist) State Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan figures as an accused.
Mr. Karthikeyan was questioned for three hours at the Chennai CBI office on Sunday, the central agency sources said.
“I was asked to come by the CBI officials. Right from the beginning of the probe, I have told them I would fully cooperate with them,” Mr. Karthikeyan told a local news channel after appearing before CBI.
He however, did not divulge any details of the questioning conducted by CBI.
The negotiations with SNC-Lavalin for the renovation of three hydel projects in Kerala began when Mr. Karthikeyan was the Electricity Minister in the United Democratic Front government in the mid-1990s.
However, the deal was finalised when the Left Democratic Front Government was in power in 1998, when Mr. Vijayan was Electricity Minister.
CBI’s case was that there was a conspiracy behind the deal which was signed in ‘undue haste,’ resulting in a heavy loss to the government.
Karthikeyan’s name was mentioned in the probe report of the CBI but he was not arraigned as an accused in the case.
While considering the case, the court a couple of months ago had asked CBI to look into the role of Mr. Karthikeyan in the deal and report back to it.