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Homechevron_rightKeralachevron_rightBar scam: Four get...

Bar scam: Four get time to decide on lie detector test

Bar scam: Four get time to decide on lie detector test

Thiruvananthapuram: A vigilance court here on Monday gave four bar owners time till May 16 to decide if they are willing to undergo a lie detector test in the bar scam case.

The scam surfaced in October last year when whistle-blower Biju Ramesh, who owns nine bars here, revealed that Finance Minister K.M. Mani took a bribe of Rs.1 crore to re-open the closed bars in the state.

Subsequently, the vigilance department registered a case against Mani. The vigilance also served notice to the four bar owners to appear before it. The department has told the court that it wishes the bar owners undergo a lie detector test.

On Monday, the bar owners told the court they want more time to consult with medical professionals on the lie detector test. The court granted them time till May 16.

"We are not against this, but all what we told the court was we wish to seek medical guidance before we decide. Hence, we want a little more time," Raj Kumar Unni, one of the four bar owners who have been asked to undergo a lie detector test, told reporters on Monday.

In a related development on Monday, the vigilance officials began their probe into Biju Ramesh's allegation that besides Mani, Excise Minister K. Babu received Rs.10 crore as bribe.

The Kerala government has ordered a vigilance probe into this allegation after the Left opposition took a strong position.

The vigilance department also took statement from Excise Commissioner Anil Xavier.

Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala told reporters on Monday: "The law will take its course and the government has nothing to do in the investigation. The vigilance will be doing what they are supposed to do."

Meanwhile, the opposition decided to intensify its agitation to press its demand that both Mani and Babu should be ousted from the state council of ministers.

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