Thiruvananthapuram: The LDF government has ratified the previous UDF government's controversial decision to seek a legal opinion from senior Supreme Court lawyers Nageswara Rao and Mohan Parasaran in the bar bribery case against former finance minister K. M. Mani and pay them a fee of Rs 7.7 lakh. It may be recalled that the LDF, especially former Opposition leader V. S. Achuthanandan, had raised strong objections to the then vigilance director Vinson M. Paul's decision. Though the investigation officer S. Sukesan initially recommended charge-sheeting of Mr Mani, Mr Vinson decided against it considering their legal opinion. This had irked the LDF, which was then in the opposition.
The UDF government took the decision to pay Rs 3.3 lakh to Mr Rao and Rs 4.4 lakh to Mr Parasaran in March 2016. But a government order in this regard could not be issued as the election code of conduct came into force. The LDF that subsequently came to power decided to review all cabinet decisions by the UDF government towards the end of its term. It included the decision to pay these charges. The cabinet that met on May 17 decided to ratify the UDF government's decision. Mr Achuthanandan had earlier questioned the rationale of seeking the legal opinion as he had previously appeared in the court for a section of bar owners who favoured Mr Mani.