Bar scam: Former excise minister K Babu booked by Vigilance

Thursday, Jul 21, 2016,17:16 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Thiruvananthapuram | The Vigilance and Anti- Corruption Bureau in Kerala today registered a case against former state Excise Minister K Babu in connection with alleged corruption in awarding bar licenses and forming policies in this regard during the previous Congress-led UDF government. The case was registered after a quick verification found out that there was prima facie corruption, Vigilance sources here said.

The FIR would be submitted at the Vigilance court in Muvattupuzha, they said. The Vigilance Director had last month ordered the quick verification on the basis of complaints submitted by Kerala Hotel Industrialist Association that the former minister had conducted blatant abuse of power and corrupt practices. It was found in the preliminary inquiry that there was prima facie corruption.

Corruption and irregularities have been found in various things including in awarding bar licenses, in the closure of beverages corporation outlets and setting the department’s norms and policies in this regard, the sources said.

The mandatory criteria was not followed in the closure of beverage outlets and the minister illegally intervened into the matter, the sources added. This is the second vigilance case in the bar scam against Babu, who had unsuccessfully contested from Tripunithura in the May 16 assembly polls.

Babu had resigned as excise minister on January 23 this year in the wake of a Vigilance court directing filing of an FIR against him in the bar bribery case, on the allegation by hotelier Biju Ramesh that he had accepted Rs 10 crore as bribe for renewal of licences of bars. He made a return into the Oommen Chandy cabinet on February 1 after the Kerala High Court stayed the order.

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