KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Friday flayed the Vigilance Director’s intervention in the preparation of the final report in the bar bribery case and orally observed that if the Vigilance Director intervened he acted against the Vigilance Manual. “If the director overstepped contours of investigation it is illegal,” the court said. The court asked the Vigilance Department why the bar owners allegedly took money inside Mani’s house.
The court said the bar bribe case is investigated by a superintendent. The Vigilance manual clearly states that in cases personally investigated by the superintendent or other senior police officer, the factual report will be prepared by them.
If the Vigilance Director insists that the investigation officer prepare the report as per the former’s wish then there is room for complaint. “Nobody can intervene in the proceedings by the investigating officer. Under what provisions has the director asked that the report has to be this way,” the court orally observed.
Justice B Kemal Pasha posted to Monday the hearing of the petition filed by Shaik Darvesh Saheb, Additional Director General of Police, Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau seeking to quash the order of the Thiruvananthapuram Vigilance Court directing to conduct further investigation in the case. The court held that it will finally hear the case on Monday and will pass an order the same day itself. During the hearing, the court asked the Vigilance to explain as to how the department was aggrieved by the October 29 order of the Vigilance Court which had rejected its final report seeking to close the case against Mani.
Advocate General K P Dandapani submitted that due to the order, the Vigilance Department was not in a position to investigate cases in the state. The vigilance court had observed that the opinion reflected in the final report was not the opinion of the investigating officer.
But the investigating officer was compelled to substitute his opinion with the opinion of the director. The special judge had taken this aspect to order further investigation and it is illegal.
In the present case, there is a factual report submitted by the investigating officer to the Director of VACB as a routine procedure in accordance with the manual. The factual report is not part of the investigation report.