Court splits Lavalin case chargesheet

Published: 18th July 2013 08:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th July 2013 08:42 AM   |  A+A-

The CBI Special Court here on Wednesday split the chargesheet of the SNC-Lavalin case, following a High Court directive that the trial in the case, in which CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan is an accused, can go ahead by splitting the chargesheet.

The chargesheet was split by excluding sixth accused SNC-Lavalin and ninth accused Claus Trendel.

CBI special judge R Reghu split the case  after Pinarayi’s counsel produced the copy of the High Court directive.

Pinarayi, seventh accused in the case, had approached the High Court seeking a split in the case stating that the trial was being delayed as two accused — SNC-Lavalin company and Trendel — were yet to be given the chargesheet.

The two have not yet appeared before the trial court.  He also stated that the course of natural justice was getting delayed because of the non-delivery of warrants to the sixth and ninth accused.

He alleged that the CBI had not taken effective steps to execute the order and that the trial of the case was being dragged endlessly, thus denying fair and speedy trial guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Pinarayi also pleaded exemption from the list of accused in the case.

The court said he could file a discharge plea in this regard before July 31.

The prosecution case was that the accused had hatched a criminal conspiracy among themselves and with the senior vice-president of SNC-Lavalin, Claus Trendel, to award the contract to the Canadian company to renovate Pallivasal, Sengulam, and Panniyar hydroelectric plants at a higher rate, thereby violating the law and causing a huge loss to the exchequer.

Pinarayi, as the then Power Minister, had inked the final agreement with the Canadian firm in 1997.

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