Pinarayi Vijayan gets bail in SNC Lavalin graft case
Kochi: Senior Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Pinarayi Vijayan, an accused in the Rs 374 crore scam in a deal with Canadian firm SNC Lavalin, was on Wednesday granted bail by a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court here.
The bail application was moved by the CPI-M state secretary's counsel M.K. Damodaran and CBI judge KP Jyothindranath granted it.
Damodaran told reporters that the bail has been secured and he has been asked to submit a bond of Rs.200,000 besides two sureties.
"We had submitted a petition last time also that (Defence Minister) A.K. Antony should also be examined and that has been posted for Jan 1," said Damodaran.
The CBI counsel, however, said that Vijayan has no right to ask for another person to be examined and that the petition should be dismissed.
Vijayan is accused of wrongfully awarding a contract to the Canadian company for renovating three power plants when he was the state power minister in 1997.
The CBI had issued summons to six former officials of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), Canada-based SNC Lavalin, Claus Trendl and former vice-president of SNC Lavalin besides Vijayan to appear before the court here Sep 24. But Vijayan failed to appear on that day citing health reasons and the matter was posted for hearing for Wednesday.
On Sep 24, five of the six KSEB officials had appeared and were given bail.
Arriving at the court here Wednesday, Vijayan was flanked by party Rajya Sabha member P. Rajiv and central committee member E.P. Jayarajan. While Vijayan sported a smile, he did not talk to the media.
The court asked that summons be sent again to SNC Lavalin and Trendl and asked them to appear before it in four months. On two previous occasions when the summons were sent to Canada, it was returned to the court.
The CBI had in June filed chargesheets against nine accused in the Rs.374 crore SNC Lavalin scam.