Bar Bribe row: High Court seeks probe progress report

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2014,22:10 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Kochi | The Kerala High Court today directed the state government to submit by next week a progress report on preliminary vigilance probe ordered in connection with bribery allegations by bar owners against Finance Minister K M Mani.
The direction in this regard was issued by a division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice A M Shaffique on a PIL by MLA V S Sunil Kumar. The bench asked Advocate General K P Dandapani to give the progress report by next week.
The petitioner said that according to the decision of the constitutional bench of Supreme Court, preliminary enquiry in corruption case needs to be completed in seven days. The principle laid down by the apex court was being violated by the state, he contended. The petition has been posted to next week.
The Congress led UDF government headed by Oommen Chandy has come under a cloud after working president of Bar Hotels Association Biju Ramesh alleged that Mani had demanded a hefty sum from the bar owners for re-opening 418 bars closed down earlier this year for want of required facilities.
After the allegations against Mani, the state government ordered a quick verification by the Vigilance and Anti- corruption Bureau to find whether there was any substance in them.