Thursday, January 22, 2009

CBI to prosecute CPM kerala state secretary

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has sought the Kerala Governor’s sanction to prosecute CPM state general secretary and Politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan in the SNC Lavalin corruption case. Vijayan was the power minister when the state electricity board signed a deal with SNC Lavalin Inc, a Canadian firm, for renovating three hydel projects.
This is the first time that a member of the party’s highest decision-making body is being chargesheeted in a corruption case.
The investigating agency has sought the Governor’s permission as Vijayan is a former minister. The agency has also sought the Chief Secretary’s permission to prosecute top bureaucrats who are among the list of the dozen accused.
The CPM-led Government had tried hard to avert a CBI probe. When the High Court took up two PILs seeking a CBI probe, the Government brought senior Supreme Court lawyers R K Anand and C S Vaidyanathan to appear for it and argued that the case was politically motivated. The court, however, found merit in the petitioners’ claim.
The High Court division bench, at one point of hearing, asked why the government was worried about a CBI probe. The government did not appeal in the Supreme Court as the CPM central leadership was opposed to such a move