K Babu's case shifted to Muvattupuzha

Additional district judge P. Madhavan was recently appointed at the Muvattupuzha court.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The bar bribery case against excise minister K. Babu is being shifted from the Thrissur Vigilance Court headed by S. S. Vasan to the newly opened Muvattupuzha Vigilance Court, even as the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) is likely to file a quick verification report on the allegations against him on Monday.

According to sources, a notification was issued by the government on Friday reassigning jurisdictions of the vigilance special courts after two new courts coming up - at Muvattupuzha and Thalassery.

As per the notification, the cases of Ernakulam, which were so far under the Thrissur vigilance court's jurisdiction, would come under the Muvattupuzha court.

The case against Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and power minister Aryadan Mohammed in connection with the alleged acceptance of a bribe from Saritha S. Nair, suspended now by the High Court, is also likely to be shifted.

Additional district judge P. Madhavan was recently appointed at the Muvattupuzha court which will have jurisdiction over Idukki also.

Mr Vasan had become a persona non grata for the UDF after he ordered registration of FIRs against Mr Babu, Mr Chandy and Mr Mohammed over bribe charges and made a series of adverse remarks, including one on Friday on the solar scam.

There were also attempts by some quarters to brand Mr Vasan as a leftist. He had even opted for an early retirement after adverse strictures of High Court while staying his orders against the CM and ministers.

But he later withdrew the decision under pressure from other judicial officers.
Sources said that even if the VACB submits quick verification report on the bar bribery allegations against Mr Babu at the Thrissur vigilance court on Monday, the court may not consider it, but would send it to the Muvattupuzha court which is having jurisdiction over Ernakulam and Idukki districts now.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the VACB again came to the conclusion that the allegations against Mr Babu were baseless on the grounds that there were contradictions in Biju Ramesh's statements regarding time of paying bribe to Mr Babu at Secretariat and one Rafeeq who allegedly accompanied Mr Ramesh could not give a proper description of the minister's office where the transaction allegedly took place.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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