KOCHI: The government seems to have too much to say in the Bar bribery case involving former Finance Minister K M Mani!
That must be why two separate counsel turned up at the Kerala High Court on Wednesday. They presented separate statements too. The special prosecutor and a senior government pleader attached to the office of the Director General of Prosecutions (DGP) appeared on behalf of the prosecution.
The Court understandably did not take too kindly to this over-representation and slammed the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB). It has directed the investigating officer Sarish P R, Inspector, VACB, Thiruvananthapuram, who filed two statements through the two different agencies, to appear in front of it on March 27.
The court has also directed him to explain how he happened to file such statements.
“The investigating officer requires to be dealt with. This sort of irresponsible procedure cannot be allowed,” the court held.
The HC made no bones about the fact that ‘such games’ cannot be allowed in court.
“As an investigating officer, he must be honest, sincere and responsible. After having signed a statement on March 1, he should necessarily have informed the DGP about such a statement when he signed a second one on March 6,” the court said.
Two statements of objection were filed by the investigating officer: the first one through the special prosecutor and the other through Suman Chakravarthy, senior government pleader with DGP. The special prosecutor appointed by the state government told the court he was assigned to conduct the case. He made it clear he had no special interest in the case. “After the government issued the appointment order, the investigating officer had come to my office and held discussions. Based on this, I filed the statement,” the special prosecutor submitted.
Chakravarthy, on his part, submitted the DGP had granted consent to the government for appointing a special prosecutor to conduct the case at the Trial Court and not the High Court. A special public prosecutor can be appointed for conducting cases in the High Court only under Section 24 (1) of CrPC and that too after consultation with the High Court, it was submitted.
The Counsel for Mani submitted the statement of March 1 did not show it was a statement filed through the special prosecutor.