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Mani Matters: Vigilance to File Chargesheet

Published: 26th May 2015 06:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th May 2015 06:03 AM   |  A+A-

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It is learnt that the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau will soon file a chargesheet against Finance Minister K M Mani in the bar bribe case.

The chargesheet, to be filed in the Vigilance court by the end of this month, will be backed by circumstantial evidence, including audio recordings of Kerala Bar Hotels’ Association (KBHA) vice-president Biju Ramesh, the result of the polygraph test on his driver Ambili, statements of over hundred persons and mobile phone tower location details.

Mani Matters.jpgAccording to the Vigilance team, the KBHA collected around `24 crore from its members to secure government sanction for reopening the closed bars. Of this, a small portion was spent on the court case and and the rest was paid as bribe to politicians.

Biju Ramesh had alleged that Mani was paid `1 crore in instalments. The VACB team found that the mobile phone tower location details of the bar owners, who visited the minister’s residences in the state capital and Pala, support this claim.  Also, the lie detector test on Ambili confirmed his statement that he drove association president D Rajkumar Unni to the residence of Mani and was a witness to him handing over a cash-filled suitcase to the Minister.

It is learnt that Chief Secretary E K Bharath Bhushan told the probe team that Mani had insisted in a Cabinet meeting that he should be consulted on changes in the Abkari policy. 

However, the reluctance of four office-bearers of the KBHA to undergo a lie detector test has come as a setback to the Vigilance team.

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