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Vigilance not averse to further probe in bar case against Mani

Vigilance not averse to further probe in bar case against Mani

Thiruvananthapuram: The Vigilance department Tuesday told the Special Court (Vigilance) here that it is not averse to holding further probe in the bar bribery case against former Finance Minister K M Mani if fresh evidence surface.

The Vigilance prosecutor made the statement in the court which was hearing a batch of petitions, including that of CPI-M leader V S Achuthanandan, seeking a direction to quash the Vigilance report giving a clean chit to Mani in the case.

The Vigilance prosecutor, however, informed the court that it stood by its report.

Further probe could be held if new evidence surface, the prosecutor said.

Achuthanandan's lawyer wanted to quash the Vigilance report giving clean chit to Mani and sought a direction for further probe.

82-year-old Mani, supremo of Kerala Congress (M), which was the third largest partner in Congress-led UDF, resigned as Finance Minister from the then Oommen Chandy Ministry in November last after an adverse remark by the High Court in a related case.

An FIR had been filed against Mani in the court after a 'quick verification' by the Vigilance Bureau on allegations made by Kerala State Bar Hotel Owners Association working President Biju Ramesh.

Ramesh had in October 2014 alleged that Mani demanded Rs five crore as bribe from the Association and accepted Rs one crore as bribe for reopening of 400-odd closed foreign liquor bars.

Judge A Badharudeen adjourned the case to August 16.

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