SNC Lavalin graft case: Kerala Governor sanctions CBI probe of Vijayan

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Thiruvananthapuram/New Delhi, June.7 (ANI): Kerala Governor R S Gavai on Sunday gave sanction to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to prosecute Communist Party of India (Marxist) State Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan in connection with his involvement in the sensitive SNC Lavalin graft case.

The Governor's sanction came despite the state government's recommendation not to give permission to prosecute Vijayan, holding that there was not enough evidence against the Marxist leader.

The Government had made its recommendation based on the legal opinion of state Advocate General that there was no evidence to prosecute Vijayan.

The CBI, however, stuck to its position that there were enough grounds to prosecute him. CBI Additional Superintendent of Police Premkumar received the letter from Governor, giving sanction to prosecute Vijayan, the Central agency sources said.

The case pertained to alleged corruption and irregularities in awarding contract for renovation of three hydro-electric projects-Panniyanr, Chenkulam and Pallivasal-to Canadian firm SNC Lavalin when Vijayan was Power Minister in 1998.

The CBI, which probed the case, had found irregularities in awarding the contract and wanted to arraign Vijayan as ninth accused in the case.

The agency had also stated that the contract had resulted in huge loss to the state exchequer. The CPI (M) has all along taken the position that the case was politically motivated. (ANI)

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