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Fourth judge recuses from hearing revision plea in Lavalin case

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Fourth judge recuses from hearing revision plea in Lavalin case
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Kochi: Another judge of the High Court on Tuesday recused himself from hearing the revision petition against the discharge of CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan and six others in the SNC-Lavalin graft case.

Justice N K Balakrishnan, who is the fourth judge to withdraw himself from the case, said he considered it inappropriate to hear the case since he had earlier practiced law as a junior of a lawyer close to the UDF government.

The judge made clear his position as the revision petition of the investigating agency's petition challenging a CBI Special Court order a few months back.

Earlier, Justices K Harilal, Thomas P Jospeh and M L Joseph Francis had recused themselves from the case.

The CBI's case was that Vijayan, who was Power Minister in the state in 1996, had full knowledge about the clandestine dealings that the accused had with the Canadian firm SNC Lavalin while awarding contract for renovation of three power stations in the state.

The CBI Special Court, Thiruvananthapuram, had in November last discharged Vijayan and six other accused from the Rs 374.50 crore graft case.
The special judge had ruled that the CBI had failed to prove the charges of conspiracy and corruption levelled against Vijayan and other accused.

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