Kochi | The Kerala High Court has been moved challenging a vigilance court order dismissing a corruption complaint against state Finance Minister K M Mani over alleged provision of ‘illegal’ tax benefits to poultry trading companies and ayurvedic medicine manufacturers.
When the petition by advocate Noble Mathew came up today, Justice C T Ravikumar, after preliminary hearing, deferred it with a direction to Advocate General K P Dandapani to inform the government’s view.
The petitioner has alleged that Mani provided illegal tax benefits to poultry trading companies and ayurvedic medicine manufacturers, causing huge loss to the public exchequer.
He had earlier filed a complaint against Mani before the Vigilance Court in Kottayam, alleging that Mani received bribe from them for giving the tax discount. Pointing out that enhancement of tax for these two items were upheld by the high court and the Supreme Court, he had alleged Mani in an arbitrary manner reduced the tax to favour the beneficiaries.
The Vigilance Court, Kottayam, had dismissed the petition on November 28 last year, citing lack of jurisdiction. Challenging this, the petitioner has approached the high court. Mani is also facing allegations of corruption in the bar bribery scam. Hotelier Biju Ramesh has alleged that hefty sum was paid to Mani for his help in reopening some of closed liqour bars in the state.
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