THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After former finance minister K M Mani — who at one point gave the impression that he would go to the LDF — sided with the UDF once again, LDF convener A gave a fresh petition in the vigilance court requesting the court to turn down the closure report against Mani in the bar bribery case.

The LDF convener also requested in his petition that a fresh probe be ordered in the case. Though previous LDF convener Vaikom Viswan had filed a similar petition, the LDF had not made its stand clear in the case after Viswan stepped down as the convener.

While prosecution opposed Vijayaraghavan’s petition, the court allowed hotelier Biju Ramesh to make changes in his petition to seek fresh probe against Mani. The court will consider the petitions on August 6.

But even if the court asks the vigilance to reconsider the report, the agency and the government will have hardly anything more to act against the KC(M) leader as the agency has still not been able to prove the demand part in the case, which is crucial in a corruption case.

Vigilance department sources said that even if the court asks the agency to reconsider its report exonerating the veteran leader, the agency can only prolong the next report.

Sources said that the maximum that the agency can do would be to prolong submitting the next report but the end report is likely to be nothing different from the present one.

Except the then vigilance director Jacob Thomas and former special investigation unit-I SP R Sukeshan, none of the vigilance officials, including the recently-left N C Asthana, had felt that the case had enough evidences to chargesheet Mani.

Since the digital evidence submitted by Ramesh were also found to be doctored, the agency will not be able to use it as an evidence in the court.
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