'Antony not to be witness in Lavalin graft case' | india | Hindustan Times
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'Antony not to be witness in Lavalin graft case'

india Updated: Jan 04, 2010 13:50 IST

The special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Kochi on Monday dismissed the plea of senior Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Pinarayi Vijayan to include Defence Minister AK Antony as a witness in the SNC Lavalin graft case.

The CBI in June last year had filed chargesheets against nine accused, including Vijayan, in the Rs.374 crore scam in a deal with Canadian company SNC Lavalin.

Vijayan, the CPI-M state secretary, is accused of wrongfully awarding a contract to the Canadian company for renovating three power plants when he was the state power minister in 1997.

In September, Vijayan's counsel had approached the court to include Antony as a witness because a crucial discussion in the renovation of the project took place when Antony was chief minister in 1996.

Dismissing Vijayan's petition, CBI court judge KP Jyothindranath asked the CBI to go ahead in the case. Vijayan was granted bail Dec 30 and his counsel had again pleaded that Antony be included as a witness for a fair trial in the case.