The Kerala High Court on Tuesday admitted two revision petitions against a CBI special court order discharging CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan and other accused from the SNC-Lavalin corruption case.
Justice K. Ramakrishnan, while admitting the petition, issued notices to Mr. Vijayan and six other accused in the case. The petitions were filed by the CBI and Editor of Crime fortnightly T.P. Nandakumar, who was one of the witnesses in the case.
The CBI special court, while discharging the accused, including Mr. Vijayan, had held that the CBI could not prove that any of the accused gained “pecuniary advantage” while awarding the contract to SNC-Lavalin, a Canadian company.
The CBI case was that Mr. Vijayan, while serving as Electricity Minister from May 1996 to October 1998, along with the other accused, had hatched a criminal conspiracy to award the contract for the renovation and modernisation of the Pallivasal, Sengulam, and Panniar hydroelectric projects to SNC-Lavalin at an exorbitant cost. The CBI further alleged that the KSEB had entered into a memorandum of understanding without inviting tenders, violating all rules and regulations.
The revision petitioners contended that the special judge had made irrelevant findings without examining the incriminating material and documents furnished by the prosecution which had established strong prima facie case against the accused.
The petitioners further pointed out that the special court had considered the validity of the subsidiary agreement for providing grant to the Malabar Cancer Centre as a vital factor without looking into the allegation of the “criminality” of the contract awarded to SNC-Lavalin.