Finally, a Kerala HC judge to hear Lavalin case on Feb 11

Four Kerala High court judges had recused themselves from the case.

Kochi: After four Kerala High court judges recused themselves from the case, Justice K. Ramakrishnan on Tuesday finally decided to hear a revision petition challenging the discharge of CPI-M State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan in the SNC Lavalin graft case. Justice Ramakrishnan posted the petition filed by CBI and an activist T.P. Nandakumar to February 11.

Justice Ramakrishnan said he has no personal interest in the case. "As long as I am here, I will hear it", he added.

Earlier in the day, when the case came up before the bench of Justice N K Balakrishnan, he declined to hear the revision petition challenging a CBI Special Court order holding that he considered it as inappropriate to hear the case since he had earlier practised law as a junior of a lawyer close to the UDF government.

Justices K Harilal, Thomas P Jospeh and M.L. Joseph Francis had recused themselves from the case earlier.

The CBI's case was that Vijayan, who was Power Minister in the state in 1996, had full knowledge about the clandestine dealings that the accused had with the Canadian firm SNC Lavalin while awarding contract for renovation of three power stations in the state.

The CBI Special Court, Thiruvananthapuram, had in November last discharged Vijayan and six other accused from the Rs 374.50 crore graft case.

The special judge had ruled that the CBI had failed to prove the charges of conspiracy and corruption levelled against Vijayan and other accused.

( Source : PTI )
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