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Cong leader questioned in Lavalin case

india Updated: Sep 18, 2009 17:11 IST

Congress leader and former electricity minister G Karthikeyan has been questioned by the CBI in connection with a graft case relating to the awarding of a contract in 1998 to a Canadian company, following a direction from a court in Thiruvananthapuram.

According to CBI sources, Karthikeyan was questioned last week, based on the direction of the Chief Judicial Magistrate court which is considering the case, in which CPI(M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan figures as an accused.

It was when Karthikeyan was electricity minister in the UDF cabinet in the mid-1990s that negotiations began with Canadian firm SNC-Lavalin for renovating three hydro power projects in the state. The deal, however, was finalised when the LDF Government was in power in 1998, in which Vijayan was electricity minister.

The CBI in the case has alleged that the deal was signed in 'undue haste' as a result of a conspiracy and the state had suffered a heavy loss due to it.

Though Karthikeyan's name has been mentioned in CBI's probe report, he was not made an accused in the case.

While considering the case, the court a couple of months back had asked CBI to further look into the role of Karthikeyan in the deal and report back to it.