25 September 2009
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: CPM politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan has petitioned a court in Kochi seeking its direction to the CBI for questioning defence minister A K Antony in the multicrore SNC-Lavlin case.
Vijayan failed to appear on Thursday before the special CBI court hearing the Lavlin case in which he is an accused. The court allowed his counsel M K Damodaran’s plea that Vijayan, the CPM state secretary in Kerala, be exempted from personal appearance for the day as he was not in good health.
Vijayan through his counsel also petitioned the court to direct the investigating agency to question Antony in connection with the scandal.
Vijayan’s lawyer said Antony was a ‘‘necessary and material witness’’ because it was during his tenure as chief minister that the MoU (with Canadian company SNC-Lavlin for modernising power plants in the state) was entered and contracts concluded and it was during his tenure that the MoU got lapsed.
‘‘If Antony and other officials are questioned, it would come to light that the renovation of the three hyrdro-electric projects and setting up of the Malabar Cancer Centre were distinct and different, he said.
The CBI case is that the two were related and that the money for setting up cancer hospital was in return for the award of the renovation project to the company.