Quick verification against K M Mani over corruption in mass marriage

Tuesday, Sep 6, 2016,12:04 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Thiruvananthapuram/Kottayam | In more trouble for Kerala Congress (M) leader K M Mani, a Vigilance court Monday ordered a quick verification over charges of corruption in the conduct of a mass marriage while he was booked for allegedly giving tax relaxation to a private company in the previous UDF regime.

Special Court (Vigilance) Judge A Badarrudin in Thiruvananthapuram ordered the Quick Verification on a complaint alleging that money used for the mass marriage in October 2014 was raised through ‘corrupt means’.

The complainant alleged that the 150 couples who got married at the function were given five sovereigns gold ornaments and Rs 1.5 lakh cash at the function, organised by KC(M) as part of its golden jubilee celebrations.

In another Vigilance related development, the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption department registered a case against Mani in Kottayam for allegedly giving tax relaxation to a private company during his stint as Finance Minister in the previous Congress-led UDF government.

Besides Mani, owner of the lead oxide manufacturing company in Kottayam Benny Abraham was also booked by Vigilance DySP Ashok Kumar, who conducted a preliminary enquiry into a complaint, Vigilance sources said.

Complainant George C Kappen, a social activist from Mani’s hometown Pala, had given a complaint to the Vigilance Director in this regard last year.

It was alleged that the Treasury incurred a loss of Rs 1.66 crore due to the tax relaxation.

Vigilance had last week filed an FIR in a court charging Mani with giving tax exemptions to poultry farmers and an ayurvedic medicine manufacturer abusing his position as the Finance Minister in the previous UDF regime.

Earlier on August 27, a Vigilance court has ordered further probe against Mani in the bar bribery scam case on a petition by the investigating officer.

Mani had to resign as the Finance Minister after an adverse remark from the Kerala High Court in the bar bribery scam.

Kerala State Bar Hotel Owners Association working president Biju Ramesh had alleged that Rs one crore bribe was paid to Mani for reopening the closed foreign liquor bars in 2014.

KC (M) had recently left UDF following differences with Congress over the bar scam issue.

The fresh Vigilance trouble for Mani came even as Congress leader and former chief minister Oommen Chandy today defended him and another member of his erstwhile cabinet K Babu over the bar bribery scam, saying the charges against them were politically motivated.