Reprieve for Vijayan in SNC Lavalin case



Kochi: The CBI on Saturday told a special court that it might be "improper" to conduct further probe against CPI(M) state secretary and former minister Pinarayi Vijayan in a graft case.

Vijayan is listed as the seventh accused in the case relating to award of contracts to renovate three hydel projects to Canadian firm SNC-Lavalin in 1998 when he was the power minister.

The investigating agency had filed a chargesheet against Vijayan in the case.

The CPI(M) leader had filed a petition before the Supreme Court challenging even the authority and competence of the Kerala Governor in granting sanction under Section 197 CrPC to prosecute him and it was pending before the Apex Court, the CBI said.

"It is therefore submitted that it may also be improper on the part of the prosecution to conduct further investigation against Vijayan at this stage which may cause an apprehension regarding the impartial and unbiased investigation carried out in this case by CBI," the probe agency said in a counter affidavit filed on a petition by 'Crime' Editor T P Nandakumar.

The allegations pertain to "showing undue favour" to Lavalin in the awarding of renovation and modernisation contracts of Pallivasal, Sengulum and Panniar hydel projects.

On further investigation against former Congress leader and UDF minister G Karthikeyan, CBI said it was in the final stages and the report would be submitted to the court.

The petitioner's contention that vital aspects in the case were omitted during investigation by CBI was far from truth, the agency said.

PTI