New Delhi [India], December 4 (ANI): Expressing its unhappiness and dissatisfaction with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the appeal against the acquittal of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the SNC-Lavlin case, the Supreme Court on Friday asked why the agency was seeking adjournment every time the matter is taken up for hearing.
"Why this adjournment? Why are you (CBI) asking for adjournment every time the case is being heard by this court," a bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, said.
Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for the CBI, said he needed more time to file additional documents in the case. Mehta also apprised the court that he has to appear for some other important matters in the next week.
The apex court deferred the hearing to January 07, 2021, on the appeal filed by the CBI against the acquittal of Pinarayi Vijayan, former Power Department secretary K Mohanachandran and former joint secretary A Francis in the SNC Lavlin scam case.
Mehta said the case needs to be heard at length and will thereby require some time, after which the apex court allowed the probe agency's request and listed the matter for further hearing next month.
Earlier, the top court had cautioned that CBI has to argue rigorously as it is a case where the Vijayan had been discharged with concurrent judgements of both lower court and the Kerala High Court when the matter had taken up first by the two-judge bench of the apex court.
Vijayan is accused of hatching a criminal conspiracy while he was serving as the electricity minister from May 1996 to October 1998. He, and other senior executives of the Kerala State Electricity Board, were accused of awarding the contract for the renovation and modernisation of few hydroelectric projects to a Canada-based company SNC-Lavalin at exorbitant rates, thereby causing a loss of Rs 374.50 crore to the state.
The agency had moved the apex court after the Kerala High Court upheld the trial court order giving a clean chit to the Chief Minister over lack of evidence against him. (ANI)