Opposition UDF meets Kerala governor in Lavalin scam

May 8th, 2009 - 5:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, May 8 (IANS) Congress-led opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) submitted a memorandum to Kerala Governor R.S. Gavai that details the SNC Lavalin corruption case in which Communist Party of India-Marxist’s (CPI-M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan is an accused.
“We gave him a 12-page memorandum which contains the details of the case and also of precedents where the governor has taken a view different from the opinion of the state government. He heard all what we had to say and we expect that he will take a decision,” Leader of Opposition Oommen Chandy told reporters here.

Vijayan has been accused of wrongly awarding contracts to Canadian company SNC Lavalin for renovation of two hydro-power projects when he was the state power minister 12 years ago.

On Feb 4, the government sought legal opinion on the Central Bureau of Investigation’s petition seeking the governor’s sanction to prosecute Vijayan.

The state advocate general last week submitted his opinion which reportedly said that sanction to prosecute need not be given as the charges against Vijayan are not clear.

“We are all the more surprised because (Kerala Chief Minister V.S.) Achuthanandan always speaks of fighting corruption and now they are shielding and protecting the corrupt,” Chandy said.

Chandy also said that the memorandum requests the governor to intervene in the case.

This is the second time that the opposition has met the governor asking him to grant permission to prosecute Vijayan. The UDF leaders had met Gavai and submitted a memorandum on the issue March 5 also.

According to the rules, the governor’s permission is necessary to prosecute a minister or a former minister.

“We will wait to see what happens and the future course of action will be decided when we (the UDF) meet on May 12,” Chandy said.

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