THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Bringing some relief to beleaguered Finance Minister K M Mani, the Kerala Lok Ayukta observed on Monday that it was not convinced prima facie that the Finance Minister had taken a bribe from bar owners.
Lok Ayukta Pius J Kuriakose, in an order on Monday, also asked the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau to submit the quick verification report on the bar bribery case. The order came on a petition filed by Navaz of Thiruvananthapuram.
The Lok Ayukta noted that the petitioner had not provided substantial evidence to prove that Mani accepted a bribe to reopen 418 bars. However, it also noted that the inquiry should continue.
“We are not convinced yet even prima facie as to the guilt of the first respondent minister. But we are not inclined to leave it there. We are of the view that the preliminary enquiry which we have already initiated should continue,’’ the order said.
Further proceedings in the case will be held after the quick verification report is submitted. The case has been posted to February 27.