Friday, 5 June 2015

Fate of Bar Bribery Case in Kerala

Introduction

With the legal counsel for the government giving an opinion in favor of the Finance Minister of the Kerala State K.M. Mani, there are speculations in the electronic and traditional media that the authorities in government worked in tandem to ensure that the case is re-directed to save the skin of somebody in the political circles.  As expected, the opposition parties in the state have started a scathing attack on the government to milk mileage out of this development in the run up to the Aruvikkara Assembly Constituency by-election, which became vacant due to the untimely demise of the former speaker of the State Legislative Assembly G. Karthikeyan.

bar bribery case

Cover-up from Top in Legal Cases

Like many cases that had occurred in the past, this case is also going to be completely wiped out from the memory of the general public unless something drastically comes from the legal luminaries when it goes for hearing in the courts of Kerala. There have been claims that were recorded in the media about the political appointments of people in certain positions in the government. This trend has been followed by the incumbent governments at different points in time. Irrespective of the political affiliations, the governments have been doing this to help the leaders to go scot-free, irrespective of whether they are truly responsible.  It had happened in Palmolein Oil Import case, Ice Cream Parlour case, etc. As soon as the government senses something wrong, it appoints persons affiliated to a political stream of thought at key positions and seeks opinions from them to make the ordinary citizens believe that things have happened naturally. However, the truth is just the contrary. These political appointees make sure that the leaders who are likely to be affected get a respite by giving their opinions in favor of their masters.

legal case cover up

Status of Bar Bribery Case

It is alleged that the standing legal counsel C.C. Augustine has been appointed by the government at the behest of Mani group leaders to save the party’s supreme leader. The opposition parties allege that the legal advisor has paid back for his appointment in the government by tailoring his opinion in favor of Kerala Congress (M) leader K.M. Mani. About two days back, the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) officer in charge of the case expressed confidence that there was enough material for prosecuting the accused in the case. Moreover, the driver of the complainant Biju had passed the lie-detector test with his statement that he saw the money changing hands with his eyes. We have to wait and see how things unfold when the VACB director takes his final stand on this matter after proper scrutiny.

corrupt polticians

Bar Bribery Case

The story is that the Kerala Government was trying to enforce the ban on sales of liquor in the state after it received adverse comment from the honorable Kerala High Court. As per the formula arrived at the meeting of the member parties in the United Democratic Front, the complete ban on sales of liquor would be introduced in the state in phases so that it could meet the deadline issued by the honorable Kerala High Court. When this formula was being executed, some of the bar license holders in the state made an allegation that K. M. Mani, the Finance Minister of the state, took bribes from the bar license holders to the tune of Rs. 2 crore and selectively ordered the closure of bars in the state. One of the bar license holder Biju Ramesan, the president of Kerala Hotel and Bar Association, came out with the complaint against K. M. Mani and Kerala government. Since then, the government had ordered a vigilance inquiry into this matter.
Thuruvananthapuram Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
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