Kannur: CPI-M politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday said that the shift in the stand of the Vigilance in the bar bribery case against K M Mani was in fact as per the strategy of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
“The court realized this game and that is why it asked the Vigilance probe team to hand over all the case documents to it. The court order has foiled Oommen Chandy’s plan to facilitate the state budget presentation by K M Mani,” Pinarayi said here.
“The Vigilance recorded the statements of only certain people. The investigation team has a huge pressure on them to save Mani from the case,” the CPI-M leader said.
The Thiruvananthapuram Vigilance Court hearing the now infamous 'bar scam' case had on Saturday asked the vigilance probe team to hand over all the case documents to it.
Giving the direction to the vigilance team, the Court posted the case for February 16.
The direction came after the vigilance probe team led by R. Sukehsan submitted a 148-page report that literally gives a clean chit to former finance minister K.M. Mani, who resigned last year after the high court upheld this vigilance court's direction to the probe team for a further probe in the bar bribery scam.
In the report that Sukeshan submitted, the highlight is that they could not establish any evidence to prove that a bribe was asked or given.
Mani had to quit on November 10 last year following certain adverse remarks made by the high court against him, while giving the nod for a further probe, as asked by the vigilance court.
The case surfaced in October 2014 when whistle-blower bar owner Biju Ramesh alleged that Mani was given Rs.1 crore as bribe by Kerala's bar owners to ensure reopening of the 418 closed bars in the state.