Published On: Wed, Feb 10th, 2016

Bar bribery scam: Kerala govt orders probe against Vigilance SP

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala government has ordered a crime branch probe against Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau Superintendent of Police R Sukeshan, who probed the bar bribery scam allegedly involving key state ministers.

Vigilance SP R Sukeshan

Vigilance SP R Sukeshan

Crime Branch head, ADGP Ananthakrishnan is likely to conduct the probe, sources at the office of Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said here today.

The probe is in the wake of recommendations by Vigilance Director N Sanker Reddy that Sukeshan had conspired with hotelier Biju Ramesh, who levelled bribery charges against former state Finance Minister K M Mani.

There were also allegations that Sukeshan had prompted Ramesh to level charges against more ministers in the scam.

The probe assumes significance in the backdrop of the recent media reports of a telephonic conversation Ramesh reportedly had with another bar owner.

Sukeshan in his factual report to the Vigilance Director had stated that there was evidence against Mani but he gave the minister a clean chit in his final report to the Vigilance Court.

The bar bribery scam has been haunting Congress-led UDF government for the last one and half years, after Ramesh, working President of Kerala Bar Hotel Owners’ Association, had alleged that Mani took Rs one crore bribe to renew bar licenses in the state.

Mani, supremo of Kerala Congress (M), the third largest coalition partner of the UDF government, had to resign following some strong observations by the High Court against him while considering a case in this regard.

State Excise Minister K Babu, against whom also bribery charges were levelled by Ramesh, tendered his resignation last month after a Vigilance Court ordered registering an FIR against him. But Babu withdrew the same after HC stayed the order.

CPI(M)-led LDF opposition has used the bar scam as a weapon to attack the Chandy government in and outside the Assembly, whose proceedings were disrupted even today over the issue.


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