The Supreme Court is likely to hear on August 31 the CBI’s appeal challenging the Kerala High Court order upholding Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s discharge in the multi-crore SNC-Lavalin graft case.
The matter is listed before a bench of Justices U U Lalit and Vineet Saran. It was last year listed before a bench headed by Justice N V Ramana. On Monday, the top court will also take up petitions filed by some of the accused challenging the HC direction asking them to face trial.
The CBI appeal challenges HC’s August 2017 decision by which it upheld a trial court order discharging Vijayan in the case, which had set off a political storm in the state.
Vijayan had denied the allegations and maintained that the case was “politically motivated”.
On November 5, 2013, a CBI court in Thiruvananthapuram discharged Vijayan and six other accused. The CBI then approached HC, which upheld the discharge of Vijayan and two others. It set aside the discharge of three other accused and directed that the case against them be revived in trial court.
The case relates to award of contracts for renovation and modernisation of three hydroelectricity projects to Canadian firm SNC-Lavalin in 1995, when Vijayan was the state electricity minister. An audit by the Principal Accountant General of Audit in Kerala later pegged the loss to the exchequer due to the deal at over Rs 350 crore.
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