Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau after skeletons in closet

May dig up cases against former ministers K.M. Mani and K. Babu

Thiruvananthapuram: The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau is learnt to be reviewing some of the sensational cases, including the bar bribery cases against former ministers K.M. Mani and K. Babu and the Pattoor land encroachment case in which even former chief minister Oommen Chandy was under a cloud for extending undue favours to a private builder.

According to sources, Vigilance director Jacob Thomas was seeking legal opinions on the scope of reviewing the cases. Though there was a legal wing in the VACB, the director was learnt to have sought legal opinion from other lawyers. A special team led by a DySP was appointed for the purpose. Vigilance top officials preferred to be tight-lipped on the moves.

There are unconfirmed reports that a preliminary review by the VACB found that there were serious lapses on the part of the Vigilance teams that initially probed the allegation against Mr K. Babu. SP R. Nishanthini and K.M. Tommy had earlier probed the allegation raised by bar owner Biju Ramesh that he paid Rs 10 crore bribe to Mr Babu and concluded that there was no evidence.

It may be recalled that Mr Jacob Thomas who earlier served as ADGP in Vigilance while the probe against Mr Mani was progressing had indirectly objected to the VACB’s decision not to file a chargesheet in the bar bribery case against Mr Mani. Hence the decision to review the case assumed significance. Similarly, the Pattoor land grab case was probed by Mr. Jacob Thomas.

Meanwhile, Mr Biju Ramesh said that he hoped to get justice as the VACB decided to review the bar bribery case. Many bar owners did not reveal the truth to the bar owners earlier as they expected favours from the previous government. With the change in government, all bar owners who were privy to the bribery, may reveal it, he said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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