Thiruvananthapuram : The bar bribery scam that rocked Kerala last year has taken a new twist with evidence supporting the allegation that Finance Minister K M Mani had received bribe from bar owners for renewing their licenses surfacing in the media.
Vigilance officer R Sukesan, who probed case, listed a series of documentary, scientific and oral evidences against the minister in his factual report. The report along with other documents related to the investigation was submitted to the vigilance court here recently.
The report indicated two instances of bribe received by the minister from the bar owners. In one case he allegedly received Rs.15 lakhs from representatives of Kerala Bar Hotel Owners Association at his residence at Pala on March 22, 2014. The minister had claimed that he was not present at Pala that day. However, the call detail record (CDR) of his mobile phone showed that he was very much at Pala on that day.
The records further showed that a call from the mobile phone of a member of his personal staff had gone to bar owner Krishnadas, who led the seven-member team of bar owners to Mani’s residence. Members of the team had told the vigilance officer that they had met the minister at his Pala residence on March 22. Sukesan’s factual report also indicated sufficient evidence regarding Rs.10 lakhs Mani received from the bar owners at his official residence on April 2, 2014. Mani, however, denied he had taken any bribe from the bar owners. Sukesan had recommended prosecution of Mani based on these evidences. Reacting to the media reports regarding the evidence against Mani, Vinson said that the details of the mobile phone communications of the witnesses could not be taken as evidence in a case