KOCHI: The chairman of the State Administrative Reform Commission V S Achuthanandan and former Minister KM Mani on Friday approached the Kerala High Court and filed two separate petitions. Both of them challenged the order of the Thiruvananthapuram Vigilance Court in the bar bribery case.
In his petition, Achuthanandan challenged the order issued by the Vigilance Court asking him to obtain prior sanction for conducting a further investigation into the bar bribery case. Meanwhile, Mani through his petition, challenged the decision of the Vigilance Court allowing a further probe into the case. Achuthanandan, in his petition, submitted that at the time when the bar bribery case was registered in 2014, there was no need for prior approval of the government. The Vigilance Court had asked him to obtain prior sanction in accordance with the recent amendments brought to the Prevention of Corruption Act.
However, Achuthanandan, in his petition pointed out the amended provisions came into force on July 26, 2018, and hence cannot be applied to the facts of the present case. Meanwhile, Mani in his petition submitted the allegations against him were already investigated on three occasions and the Vigilance had exonerated him of all charges. The view of the Vigilance Court that a further investigation was needed is like denying the petitioner the fundamental rights, he pointed out.