Thiruvananthapuram: The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau has decided not to file charge sheet against Finance Minister K.M Mani in the bar bribery case.
Sources say that Vigilance Director Vinson M. Paul has directed the investigating officer SP R. Sukesan to submit a closure report in the court.
The Vigilance took the decision after receiving the legal advice from the senior advocates in this regard. Though the Vigilance had sought legal advice from the Attorney General and the Solicitor General, neither of them had given any reply to it.
Saying that the decision was expected, Biju Ramesh, who raised the allegation, has said he will approach the court against the Vigilance decision not to file charge sheet against Mani.
“The Vigilance took the decision under the political pressure,” he said.
Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala, however, has made it clear that the government has not interfered with the decision of the VACB.
Vigilance ADGP Shaik Darvesh Saheb had earlier rejected the investigating team's report in the case citing 'lack of evidence' against Mani.
In October last year bar owner Biju Ramesh went live on a TV channel and claimed that Mani was given Rs. one crore as bribe to ensure that the closed bars will be opened.
The Left opposition was quick to latch on. Following a demand by former chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan, the Kerala government handed over the case to the vigilance department.