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Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Must be Tried For Lavalin Corruption Case, CBI Tells Top Court

The corruption case concerns the loss of Rs 86.25 crore in the Kerala State Electricity Board’s (KSEB) contract with Lavalin for the renovation and modernisation of the Pallivasai, Sengulam and Panniar hydroelectric projects in Idukki district of Kerala.

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Updated:July 29, 2018, 8:46 AM IST
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Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Must be Tried For Lavalin Corruption Case, CBI Tells Top Court
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. (File photo)
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New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday told the Supreme Court that Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan should face trial in the SNC Lavalin corruption case.

The corruption case concerns the loss of Rs 86.25 crore in the Kerala State Electricity Board’s (KSEB) contract with Lavalin for the renovation and modernisation of the Pallivasai, Sengulam and Panniar hydroelectric projects in Idukki district of Kerala. The now Kerala CM was the State’s Power Minister then.

The CBI registered the case in 2007 and filed the charges two years later. In 2013, the trial court cleared the minister and top officials of the charges. The high court, which heard an appeal in this case, cleared Vijayan and senior officials of the charges but ordered the trial against some others.

The high court blamed the CBI of cherry-picking its accused, ruling that there was no prima facie evidence against Vijayan. Other power ministers too had dealt with this case but only Pinarayi Vijayan was charged, the high court had observed.

The CBI said the decision of the Kerala High Court to discharge the Chief Minister was “not correct”.

The CBI also went to the apex court with its own appeal against the High Court decision. The agency said all the accused in the Lavalin case, including Chief Minister Vijayan, should be tried.

The agency questioned how the High Court could hold that there was criminal conspiracy on one hand but nevertheless discharge select accused persons.

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| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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