Kochi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Wednesday said in an affidavit that the Kerala government had acted in a partisan manner by refusing sanction to prosecute CPI-M bigwig Pinnarayi Vijayan in the SNC Lavalin corruption case.
CBI filed the affidavit in a Special CBI Court after A.S. Francis, one of the accused in the Rs.374 crore corruption case, filed a petition that it was not fair on the investigative agency`s part to prosecute him without the state government`s sanction.
CBI told the court that Vijayan being the powerful secretary of the state`s ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) may be the reason why the government last year failed to grant sanction to prosecute him as well as Francis, a former government employee.
Vijayan is accused of wrongfully awarding a contract to Canadian company SNC Lavalin for renovating three power plants when he was state power minister in 1997. The CBI has made him the seventh accused but he secured bail last December.
It was in June last year that the CBI filed chargesheets against nine accused in the scam. Francis is the eighth accused in the case.
It was Kerala Governor RS Gavai who, after a through examination of the entire case, gave sanction to prosecute Vijayan.
The CBI said if the governor too had acted like the state government, it would have been a serious blot on democracy.
The Special CBI Court Wednesday asked for summons to be sent again to SNC Lavalin and Claus Trendl, its former vice-president, asking them to appear before the court. On three previous occasions when summons were sent to Canada, they were returned to the court.
Reacting to the CBI`s affidavit, Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan told reporters that he would look into the observations made by the CBI.