K Babu gets clean chit from Vigilance in bar bribery case

Former excise minister and senior Congress leader K Babu
Former excise minister and senior Congress leader K Babu

Thiruvananthapuram: In a major relief just before the crucial assembly polls, former excise minister and senior Congress leader K Babu has received a clean chit from the Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau (VACB) in the bar bribery case.

In the report filed before the Vigilance court at Muvattupuzha, the VACB said that Rs 100 crore corruption case against Babu would not sustain. The allegation was that corruption worth Rs 100 crore had taken place in connection with sanctioning of new bar licence and closure of bars during Babu's tenure as excise minister in the UDF regime.

Babu had to resign following the allegations. But the worst came later when he faced a shocking defeat in the 2016 assembly polls.

The Vigilance report said during the investigations carried out it could not find any evidence to prove that Babu was guilty of the charges. The Vigilance had registered a case and began the probe in 2016 on the basis of a quick verification report which stated that there was substance in the allegations against the minister.

However, the Vigilance has now given a clean chit to Babu after a detailed probe. In view of the absence of evidence against Babu the report recommended that all further action against him be stopped forthwith.

It said even the complainant had not stated that Babu had taken bribe personally. The Rs 3.79 crore said to have been collected by the Bar Hotel Association, was for fighting the case in court, the report said.

Reacting to the developments, Babu said; ‘The Vigilance report has brought great relief. I was deliberately crucified. I had faith that truth will surely come out one day," Babu told Manorama News.

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