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Kerala CPM chief gets bail in graft case

December 30, 2009 12:39 IST

Communist Party of India (Marxist) Kerala secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, arraigned as an accused in a graft case relating to awarding of contract to a Canadian firm during his tenure as power minister in 1998, was on Wednesday granted bail by a CBI special court in Kochi.

Judge K P Jothindranath granted bail to Vijayan and directed him to furnish a bail bond of Rs 2 lakh and two sureties for the like amount.

Vijayan, accompanied by his counsel M K Damodaran, appeared before the court and sought bail. Heavy security arrangements were made at the court when Vijayan, accompanied by a host of party leaders, arrived.

The CBI had filed a chargesheet listing Vijayan as the seventh accused in the case relating to alleged corruption in awarding of contract to the Canadian company SNC Lavalin for renovation of three hydel projects in 1998.

The CBI special court had on June 23 issued summons to all the nine accused, including Vijayan, in the case, to appear before the court on September 24. Vijayan had failed to appear on medical grounds.

Lavalin official Claus Trendl and Lavalin company have not yet accepted the summons. Five accused -- former principal secretary (Power) K Mohanachandran, former Kerala State Electricity Board chairmen R Shivadasan and Siddharta Menon, former chief engineer (Generation) Kasturiranga Iyer and former joint secretary (Power) A Francis -- were earlier granted bail on a bond of Rs 2 lakh and two sureties for a like amount.

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