Kerala court asks CBI to complete graft probe in four months

September 23rd, 2008 - 4:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Kochi, Sep 23 (IANS) The Kerala High Court Tuesday asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to complete in four months its probe into a corruption case involving the state secretary of the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).A division bench of the court led by Chief Justice H.L. Duttu was hearing a plea from the CBI for a six-month extension to finish the probe into the case of the state’s controversial contracts with a Canadian firm for modernisation of hydro-electric plants nine years ago.

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) had found irregularities in the contract with SNC Lavalin of Canada for the renovation and modernisation of the Pallivassal, Chengulam and Panniyar hydro-electric projects in Idukki district.

CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, as electricity minister in 1997, had awarded the contract to SNC Lavlin.

The high court on Jan 16, 2007 ordered a CBI probe into the issue.

Chief Justice Duttu last week slammed the investigating agency for the delay and asked it to produce the case diaries.

The CBI Monday handed over the case diaries and the court, after going through it, found that the investigation was proceeding at a very slow pace even as some progress had been made.

The court, however, rejected the request for six-month extension.

The investigating agency was earlier given an extension of six months, which ended last week.

The CBI had questioned Vijayan early this year.

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