AN albatross falls from pinarayi’s neck

On Wednesday, a single-judge Bench of the Kerala High Court upheld an earlier CBI court verdict acquitting Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the SNC-Lavalin deal, giving a new lease of life to the CP

Published: 24th August 2017 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th August 2017 12:22 AM   |  A+A-

On Wednesday, a single-judge Bench of the Kerala High Court upheld an earlier CBI court verdict acquitting Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the SNC-Lavalin deal, giving a new lease of life to the CPM strongman. It also makes things easier for Pinarayi as the Canadian firm SNC-Lavalin was an albatross around his neck for the past two decades.

It had come back to haunt him on many occasions—something the politically nuanced public of the state could not have missed. The case pertains to a contract awarded by the state government to SNC- Lavalin for the renovation and modernisation of the Pallivasal, Sengulam and Panniar hydroelectric projects of the Kerala State Electricity Board.

In 2013, the Thiruvananthapuram CBI court acquitted Pinarayi, but the CBI moved a revision petition. Kerala’s  UDF government sought to expedite the hearing just before the 2016 Assembly elections. On Wednesday, the Kerala High Court put an end to the long and bitter battle that was as much political as it was legal.

Rejecting the review petition, the judge questioned the CBI for ‘picking-and-choosing’ Pinarayi Vijayan. The CBI, in all likelihood, may go for an appeal before the Supreme Court. Till then, the 202-page verdict from the Kerala High Court would remain the last word in the SNC-Lavalin case, at least from the political perspective.

The verdict will see Pinarayi emerge stronger—both within the party and the government. With a weak Opposition struggling to keep up, it is evidently a political victory for the Kannur strongman. This verdict will enable him to concentrate on pursuing governance, especially those projects which require the development stamp in a state starved of new initiatives.

To be sure, he has been focusing on a few development projects since the LDF was voted to power with an overwhelming majority in May 2016. With the Lavalin case that was a Damocles sword now a thing of the past, Pinarayi can now set the pace for the state’s development.

Stay up to date on all the latest Editorials news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp