The Kerala High court today directed the LDF government in the state to take a decision regarding grant of sanction to prosecute CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan and two others in the SNC Lavalin corruption case expeditiously,preferably within three months.
A division bench,comprising Acting Chief Justice J B Koshy and Justice P Bhavadasan,in its order on two PILs in connection with the case stated that the court cannot issue directions to the government regarding the grant of sanction.
The bench said that since the request of CBI,which sought to arraign Vijayan and others as accused has been sent to the cabinet,there is no point for the court to act. This will amount to premature exercise,the bench observed.
Referring to Supreme Court decisions,the court said as constitutional authority,cabinet has to take a decision despite political compulsions.
The state cabinet has recently referred the CBI plea seeking sanction to prosecute Vijayan and others to the Attorney General for his remarks.
The court,however,held that the two PILs by an advocate Asaf Ali representing the Peoples Council for Civil Rights and T P Nandakumar,Editor,Crime magazine,seeking a declaration that sanction was not necessary to prosecute the three accused,were maintainable as the entire public was keenly following the case.
The Lavalin case relates to alleged irregularities and corruption in awarding the contract to the Canadian firm,SNC Lavalin,for renovation and modernisation of three Hydel projects in the state in the 1990s.
The CBI in its report on the case sought the sanction of the Governor and Chief Secretary to arraign Vijayan,who was the Minister for Power in the Nayanar Ministry in 1998,and two others in the case.