Probe against Chennithala: Governor to carry out legal inspection
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan will carry out a legal examination on the demand for vigilance probe against opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala over bar bribery case.
The state government granted permission to vigilance for a preliminary investigation into the bar bribery allegations raised by bar owner Biju Ramesh against leaders including Chennithala.
Though the Chief Minister approved the file, permission of the governor and speaker is needed for the probe. Earlier, Chennithala has filed a complaint with the governor requesting to quash the probe.
On the basis of this, the governor will grant permission for the probe after conducting legal examination.
Usually, the governor grants permission for probe without any delay. More examinations were conducted for giving permission to prosecution procedures.
Meanwhile, the governor has decided to carry out a legal examination into the probe against Chennithala after observing that the case is before the consideration of the court and vigilance did not find anything after probing the case twice.
Ramesh Chennithala was not a minister during the period Biju Ramesh mentioned in the allegation. Hence, Raj Bhavan will examine whether permission from the governor is mandatory to initiate a probe into the case.
Former ministers VS Sivakumar and K Babu are also facing probe along with Chennithala. The government has sought permission from the governor as the opposition leader holds cabinet rank.
Biju Ramesh had revealed that he had given money to then KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala, excise minister K Babu and minister V S Sivakumar during the tenure of previous UDF government. The Vigilance conducted a secret inquiry into the complaint before approaching the government for permission to hold the probe.
Biju Ramesh alleged that he gave Rs 1 crore to Ramesh Chennithala, Rs 50 lakh to K Babu and Rs 25 lakh to V S Sivakumar from the amount collected from bar owners to reduce bar license fee. The Vigilance approached the government to conduct probe as per the anti-corruption law.