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Lavalin case: Pinarayi Vijayan is guilty, says the CBI

 

Kochi: In to the case of SNC Lavalin in which Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and others were acquitted, the CBI has listed out errors committed by aforesaid while signing the agreement with Canadian company SNC Lavalin for renovation of three hydro electric projects in 1997.

The Kerala High Court is considering the revision petition filed by the CBI challenging acquittal of Pinarayi and other accused in the Lavalin case.

The CBI alleges that Pinarayi, who was the electricity minister during the period, showed extra interest and covered up certain facts from his cabinet colleagues. The pact signed with Lavalin regarding distribution was not known to the cabinet members. Further, he used his influence to block the objections raised by higher officials of electricity board. This part, the pact he signed with the company was legally invalid, the CBI adds.

Pinarayi devoted special care for the company officials. The Malabar Cancer Centre was his own idea. Pinarayi was aware of the fact that a total renovation of the hydroelectric projects was needless. He had also referred reports in this regard. Even then, he signed a deal for complete overhaul. In this connection, a conspiracy had taken place, alleged CBI.

The CBI also submitted in court a note bearing the charges, evidence and witnesses. Former Principal Secretary of Finance Vinod Rai is one among the witnesses.

An agreement with Canadian company SNC Lavalin was signed in 1997, when Pinarayi was Power Minister, to repair three generators of Panniyar, Chenkulam, and Pallivasal projects. The case is that the Rs 374.5-crore deal caused loss worth crores to the government and the KSEB. Pinarayi was arraigned by the CBI as the seventh accused in the case, causing a lot of political furore.

In 2013, the Thiruvananthapuram CBI court had acquitted the accused, including Pinarayi.

(With external inputs)

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