Law will take its course in Lavalin case: Chandy

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 13 (IANS) The law will take its course in the SNC Lavalin case, and the Kerala government will not interfere, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said here on Wednesday.

CPI-M politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan was named as an accused in the case filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation, but a CBI special court here exonerated Vijayan in 2013.

The state government filed a review petition against this ruling in the Kerala High Court in February 2014. The state government again took up this case on Wednesday in the high court.

“We do not interfere in such things and the law will take its course. Am I also not facing the palm oil case that has been dragging on for close to three decades?” Chandy asked reporters.

Chandy said the media in 2006 had written “hum sab chor hai”, accusing both the opposition and the ruling party of playing a game, when the vigilance department had given a clean chit to Vijayan in the Lavalin case.

“That was how we decided then to hand this case over to the CBI,” Chandy said.

The affidavit the state government filed in 2014 said the agreement in 1997 with Canadian company Lavalin was entered into when Vijayan was the state power minister, and the deal caused a loss of Rs.266 crore to the state exchequer.

The government said that the deal was inked even when central public sector company Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited had given a lower quote to get three power plants renovated, but that was ignored and the contract was awarded to the Canadian company.

After the clean chit, the CBI filed a review petition stating that the CBI court did not go in-depth into the agreement signed by Vijayan with the Canadian company.

“This new development is a game being enacted by Chandy and state BJP president Kummanem Rajasekheran,” CPI-M state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told reporters here on Wednesday, adding that they were using the CBI for political gain.

“With (assembly) elections round the corner, this is an election ploy by Chandy and others,” said Balakrishnan.

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