SC asks CBI if it wants to drag on the Lavalin appealtext_fields
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday said that it would hold final hearing in April on a batch of petitions, including one by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), challenging the Kerala High Court order discharging Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and others in an alleged graft case involving the award of contract to a Canadian firm SNC-Lavalin for the repair of three generators.
The bench of Justice N.V.Ramana and Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar directed the final hearing of the matter in the first week of April as Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the investigating agency urged the court to adjourn the matter for hearing on a non-miscellaneous day.
"Why on a non-miscellaneous day? If your intention is to drag on the case...", Justice Ramana asked and directed the final hearing in the case in the first week of April.
The top court had on January 11, 2018, sought response from Vijayan and others on the investigating agency's plea challenging their discharge in the alleged SNC-Lavalin corruption case.
A bench of Justice N.V. Ramana and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer had even then stayed the trial of the case pertaining to an agreement with SNC-Lavalin in 1997 to repair three generators, which allegedly caused a loss of Rs 266 crore to the state exchequer.
The CBI had moved the top court challenging a Kerala High Court order discharging Vijayan and six others while allowing trial of the remaining three accused.
While exonerating Vijayan, the High Court said that three officials of the Kerala State Electricity Board would face trial.
The matter related to 1997 when Vijayan was Power Minister in Kerala.
The three accused, who were asked to face trial by the High Court, too moved the top court challenging the High Court's verdict asking them to face trial.
On November 5, 2013, the CBI court in the state capital exonerated all the accused, without taking the case for trial.
However, a year later, the CBI filed a revision petition against the CBI court's exoneration.