Kerala opposition asks Achuthanandan to prosecute Vijayan

March 5th, 2009 - 3:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, March 5 (IANS) Opposition parties in Kerala Thursday urged Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan to give the sanction to prosecute Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Pinarayi Vijayan, an accused in the SNC Lavalin corruption case.
Leader of Opposition Oommen Chandy led a delegation to meet the chief minister at the State Secretariat office here. Speaking to reporters later, Chandy said Achuthanandan was receptive to their demands.

On Feb 4, the government sought legal opinion on the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking the governor’s sanction to prosecute Vijayan, CPI-M state secretary and arch rival of Achuthanandan.

The Achuthanandan cabinet then gave three weeks time to get the opinion from the Advocate General (AG) C.P. Sudhakara Prasad.

Chandy said: “We waited to see if any action would happen because the AG had asked for three weeks time then and the state government agreed to it. Since the time has elapsed and nothing has happened, we decided to approach the chief minister.”

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

The CBI last month wrote to Governor R.S. Gavai seeking permission to prosecute Vijayan. According to rules, the governor’s permission is necessary to prosecute a minister or a former minister.

Meanwhile, a division bench of the high court, while disposing a petition filed by an NGO earlier that sanction was not needed to launch prosecution in a corruption case, asked those concerned to see that action is taken in three months time.

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