Thiruvananthapuram | CPI-M in Kerala today alleged an attempt was being made to sabotage the probe in the bar bribery case by delaying filing chargesheet against state Finance Minister K M Mani, accused of accepting money from bar owners to grant licence. It was not possible to exclude Mani from the chargesheet, CPI-M state Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told a meet the press programme here.
If a person’s name figures in FIR, that person should be taken into custody and questioned. But in the case of Mani, that has not happened. This is an exemption extended to Mani by the government, Balakrishnan said. Vigilance could have filed chargesheet against Mani based on the evidences that have come out so far, he said, adding but the agency did not take those evidences on face value.
Now the result of polygraph test conducted on Kerala Bar Hotel Owners’ Working President Biju Ramesh’s car driver, an ‘eyewitness’ who deposed before the Vigilance against Mani had also come out, he said, adding so delay in filing chargesheet is with a view to sabotage the case. Effort was also now on to close the case by the probe against Mani and thereby protect State Excise Minister K Babu, against whom also charges have been levelled in the scam.
Meanwhile, putting up a brave face, Mani, supremo of Kerala Congress (M), the third largest partner in the ruling UDF, said ‘let the probe be over, truth will come out’. He also said an unprecedented comprehensive probe was going on in the case. The alleged scam surfaced in November last after Ramesh claimed the association had paid Rs one crore to the Finance Minister. Later, he also alleged a bribe of Rs 10 crore was paid to Excise Minister K Babu.
Subscribe to our email newsletter.