New Delhi [India], January 8 (ANI): The Supreme court deferred to January 12, the hearing on the appeal filed by the CBI against the discharge of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, former Power Department secretary K Mohanachandran and former joint secretary A Francis in the SNC Lavalin corruption scam case.
A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and also comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and S Ravindra Bhat, adjourned the matter to January 12, Tuesday.
The top court in its last hearing on December 4, 2020, expressed its serious unhappiness and dissatisfaction with the probe agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the appeal against the acquittal of Vijayan in the SNC-Lavlin case, and had asked the CBI, as to why it was seeking adjournment every time the matter is taken up for hearing.
Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for the CBI, had said that he needed more time to file additional documents in the case.
Earlier, the top court had cautioned that the CBI has to argue rigorously as it is a case where Vijayan had been discharged with concurrent judgements of both lower court and the Kerala High Court when the matter had taken up first by the two-judge bench of the apex court.
Vijayan is accused of allegedly hatching a criminal conspiracy while he was serving as the electricity minister from May 1996 to October 1998. He, and other senior executives of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), were accused of awarding the contract allegedly for the renovation and modernisation of few hydroelectric projects to a Canada-based company SNC-Lavalin at exorbitant rates, thereby causing a loss of around Rs 350 crores to the state.
The probe agency, the CBI, had moved the top court after the Kerala High Court upheld the trial court order giving a clean chit to the Chief Minister due to lack of evidence against him. (ANI)