HC directs CBI to take over probe into actor Mani's deathtext_fields
Kochi: The High Court Wednesday ordered CBI to take over the probe into the mysterious death of Malayalam film actor Kalabhavan Mani last year, rejecting the agency's stand it cannot investigate the case due to workload.
Justice Sunil Thomas held it was a fit case for the CBI and directed the agency to take over the probe from the state police in a month.
The court passed the order on petitions filed by Mani's wife Nimmy and brother R L V Ramakrishnan seeking a CBI probe into the death of the 45-year old actor.
The Kerala government had on June 11 last year decided to hand over the case to the CBI, which, however, had turned it down saying its hands were full as it was investigating many other cases.
The CBI had taken the same stand in the court also during the earlier hearing.
The court, however, today rejected the CBI's submission and ordered it to probe into the actor's death.
The petitioners told the court that the police continuing the probe was inappropriate after the state government issued a notification entrusting the task to the CBI.
Mani, who had essayed various roles in south Indian films, was found in a serious condition at his farmhouse at Chalakudy and later died at a hospital in March 2016.
While a lab at Kochi had found traces of chlorpyrifos, a toxic pesticide in his viscera sample, a Hyderabad lab had stated that traces of methyl alcohol were found in his blood.
Mani was undergoing treatment for a liver ailment at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences at Kochi, where he breathed his last on March 6.