Thiruvananthapuram: Administrative Reform Commission Chairman VS Achuthanandan has said that the Kerala government should quickly give its nod for further investigation into the bar bribery case.

Thiruvananthapuram vigilance court has rejected the report acquitting former finance minister KM Mani in the bar bribery case. The court said that the investigation is incomplete and directed the vigilance to conduct further investigation.

Bar owner Biju Ramesh had alleged that KM Mani received a bribe of Rs 1 crore for reopening 418 closed bars, which were closed for maintaining low quality. Biju had claimed that Mani demanded Rs 5 crore and he gave Mani Rs 1 crore in three instalments at the minister’s house.  

Bar bribery case originally charged KM Mani as the only accused following the probe conducted by the vigilance. KM Mani was acquitted in two investigation reports submitted by the vigilance during the tenure of the UDF government. 

The court had refused these reports following demands from several leaders including VS Achuthanandan. Now the vigilance has acquitted Mani in the third report as well. 

“We welcome the court order. The order proves that the new central rule gives an escape route to the corrupt,” Achuthanandan said to media on Tuesday. He also added that the stands taken by the prosecution in court need to be examined.

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