Court seeks Kerala CPI-M leader’s response on petition

February 2nd, 2009 - 3:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Kochi, Feb 2 (IANS) Hours before Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)’s Kerala state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan was to begin his state-wide march, the Kerala High Court Monday asked him and two others accused in a multi-million rupee scam for their response on a petition seeking their prosecution. The court’s ruling came as it heard a petition filed by an NGO contending the governor’s sanction was not required to prosecute Vijayan in a 12-year-old graft case involving Canadian company SNC Lavalin.

A division bench of acting Chief Justice J.B. Koshy and Justice V. Giri last week had asked state advocate general C.P. Sudhakar Prasad to give his views on the petition Monday.

However, before hearing his views, the division bench asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)’s counsel about the nature of the crime that Vijayan had committed, and was told that he and two government officials - K. Mohanachandran and Francis - were charged with criminal conspiracy and cheating.

After hearing the counsel, the bench said that it was only proper to send the three a notice and posted the case to Feb 9 for further hearing.

The bench also pointed out that they are not entering into the merit of the case and also said that the advocate general’s views would be heard then.

The notice would be served to the three through a special messenger.

This ruling comes as a setback to Vijayan as he begins his state-wide march from the northern tip of the state near Kasargode at 4 p.m.

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