The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Court here will decide on December 4 whether the charge in the SNC Lavalin graft case should be split to start the trial of those accused who have accepted the court’s summons.

The defence counsels in the case, notably that of the seventh accused and Communist Party of India (Marxist) State unit secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, had demanded that the trial be conducted in a split manner as the CBI, the investigating agency, had so far failed to execute the warrant against Klans Triendel, former senior vice-president of SNC-Lavalin, Canada.

Mr. Triendel is the sixth accused in the case that relates to the alleged irregularities in the award of contract to the Canadian company for renovation, modernisation, and augmentation of three hydroelectric projects in 1998 and consequent loss to the exchequer amounting to crores of rupees.

Mr. Vijayan was the Power Minister at the time of awarding the contract to the company.

The prosecution case was that officials of the Kerala State Electricity Board and the other accused had hatched a criminal conspiracy among themselves and with the senior vice-president of SNC-Lavalin to award the contract to the Canadian company to renovate Pallivasal, Sengulam, and Panniyar hydroelectric plants at a higher rate, thereby violating the law and causing a huge loss to the exchequer.

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