New Delhi: The Supreme Court Thursday
awarded one year rigorous imprisonment to former Kerala power minister and Congress leader R Balakrishnan Pillai and two others in the Idamalayar dam corruption case.
A bench of justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan
convicted the former minister while reversing the acquittal
order passed by the Kerala High Court.
The apex court upheld the prosecution plea that the
former minister has entered into a criminal conspiracy that
caused a loss of over Rs 2 crore to the Kerala State
Electricity Board by awarding contracts for construction of a
power tunnel and surge shaft of the Idamalayar hydro
electricity power project to contractor Paulose (now deceased)
at extra ordinarily high rates.
The apex court, upholding the appeal filed by the then
Leader of the Opposition and present Chief Minister V S
Achuthanandan, said the high court had committed a grave error
by overlooking the clinching evidence marshalled by the
prosecution and the conviction rightly awarded by the special
court in Kerala.
The apex court also expressed concern that cases of
corruption relating to political personalities have been
dragging endlessly in the country and pointed that in the
present case, though the scandal took place in 1982, the
prosecution was launched only in 1991.
The bench said there was clinching evidence to prove
Pillai`s involvement in the award of the contract despite the
fact that the electricity board was an independent body and
was not under the control of the government to warrant his