Governance Now Masterminds

Kerala court orders probe into bribery charges against finance minister

Case closure report by vigilance bureau rejected

GN Bureau | October 29, 2015


#Kerala   #Mani   #LDF   #Left Democratic Front  

A vigilance and special court in Kerala has come to haunt Oommen Chandy government by ordering further investigation into bribery charges against finance minister KM Mani.

The court has been hearing the case for the past over three months and rejected the vigilance and anti corruption bureau's report seeking closure of the bar bribery charges against Mani. The court rejected the petition of the bureau to close the case for want of evidence.

The government also faces the discomfiture of bringing back the investigating official. The court has ordered reinstatement of superintendent of police (vigilance) R Sukesan, who was the original investigating officer in the case but removed later following his report against Mani. Sukesan will be now entrusted with the investigation. Although the investigation officer wanted to chargesheet Mani, senior officials at the Vigilance Department went against the plan.

Last December, the vigilance had registered an FIR against Mani.

The Opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) has sought Mani's immediate resignation over the court verdict. Speaking to reporters at Kozhikode, Leader of the Opposition VS Achuthanandan said Mani should quit if there was an iota of self-respect left in him.  But Mani said he would only be happy to see the continued investigation taking place. "Let the investigation continue so that I can come out cleaner," the finance minister told reporters.

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