Court says further probe into bar bribe scam but KM Mani will not resign
news Thursday, October 29, 2015 - 11:40

In a major setback to the Kerala government and Finance Minister KM Mani, a special vigilance court in Thiruvananthapuram has asked for further investigation in the bar bribery case. The court has asked vigilance superintendant of police Sukeshan to go on with the investigation.

The vigilance enquiry was started after whistleblower and bar association president Biju Ramesh alleged that bar owners had paid bribe to the Finance Minister to reopen closed bars

But a very nonchalant K M Mani told the media, “Let further investigations happen, this does not mean I am guilty.”

Demand for Mani’s resignation has grown in Kerala. CPI(M) Kerala Committee Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan demanded that Mani should not continue as Finance Minister even for  a minute. “How can the investigation be done by a department that comes under Mani? Already the Vigilance Director tried to give Mani a clean chit, which the court has dismissed now.”

The court also dismissed the Vigilance Director’s report giving Mani a clean chit.

Kerala Bar Hotel Owners Association working president Biju Ramesh had alleged on October 31, 2014, that KM Mani had taken ₹ 1 crore from bar owners, and the second installment of Rs 4 crore had been due.

Under pressure, the Kerala government had ordered a 'quick verification'. Later a Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau enquiry was started after an FIR was lodged.