KOCHI: A petition has been filed before the Kerala High Court, seeking a directive to the Vigilance and Anti-corruption Bureau to initiate probe against Excise Minister K Babu, over bribery allegations. The petition was filed by Isaac Varghese of the Kerala Anti-corruption and Human Rights Protection Council. The petitioner also sought an order to quash the report of the preliminary inquiry against the Minister.
It is alleged in the petition that the preliminary inquiry conducted by the fifth respondent was only an eyewash to protect the Minister from the clutches of law, and that the witnesses who were questioned had alleged that the fifth respondent conducted the inquiry in a biased, unfair and hasty manner. The petitioner further alleged that the preliminary inquiry conducted by the Vigilance DySP was illegal, unsustainable and liable to be set aside.
“The Vigilance Director has no authority to order preliminary inquiry into a statement made by a witness, under Section-164 of the CrPC in a pending Vigilance case, through an officer outside the jurisdiction of the Vigilance Court,” it is stated in the petition. “The Vigilance director should not have directed the fourth respondent to conduct the investigation without conducting preliminary inquiry into the genesis of the Section-164 statement,” it stated.