The CBI on Friday moved a criminal revision petition in the Kerala High Court against the CBI special court verdict which acquitted CPI (M) politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan and six others in the SNC Lavalin corruption case.
The CBI has moved the revision petition as only five days remained to complete the three months period since the special court had acquitted the alleged accused after admitting their discharge petitions.
The delay on the part of the CBI to move the criminal revision petition has come under fire from a section of the Congress in Kerala. The issue had got another twist after three high court judges, one after another, recused themselves from hearing a petition seeking order to quash the CBI court’s verdict.
Congress MP from Kannur K Sudhakaran on Thursday has stated that he would petition the chief justice of Supreme Court seeking action against the Kerala High Court judges who were reluctant to hear the petition. Sudhakaran had stated those judges were an insult to the judiciary and their approach showed the cowardice in dealing with cases involving big shots.
On Friday, the CBI, in its petition stated that the trail court’s order was against the orders of the Supreme Court in this regard.
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The SNC-Lavalin case concerns the repair and revival of three power projects in Kerala during 1995-1997. The charge against Vijayan and other accused was that they had entered into a deal with the Canadian firm, causing a loss of Rs 374.50 crores to the state. Besides Vijayan, six others discharged in the case were senior executives of the Kerala State Electricity Board.
The CBI Judge R Raghu had stated that prosecution had failed to establish dishonest and fraudulent intentions, abuse of official position and cheating against the accused. “Administrative lapse or blunder is not indictable under our penal statutes and for that reason that is not the domain of this court to ponder over and render a finding. The prosecution has no case that any of the accused obtained any pecuniary advantage,” the court said.
“The prosecution is simultaneously attempting to brand the act of awarding supply contract a dishonest and fraudulent act, and also an act taking into consideration the offer for grant for establishing the cancer hospital, a laudable object, involving public interest. These allegations are mutually contradictory and destructive.”
Vijayan and six other ex-officials of the Kerala State Electricity Board are the alleged accused in the case. Others remaining as accused in the case are Lavalin Company and its vice-president Claus Trendl, but the CBI has not served the court warrants to the firm and its senior executive so far.