Brewery case: Vigilance plea to end further proceedings disallowed

Ramesh Chennithala. File Photo.

Thiruvananthapuram: The Vigilance plea seeking to end further proceedings in the brewery case filed by senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala has been turned down by the special court of the corruption watchdog.

In his petition, Chennithala had alleged corruption in the sanctioning of breweries during the previous Pinarayi Vijayan state government (2016-21).

The Thiruvananthapuram Special Vigilance Court on Thursday also allowed Chennithala's plea to direct the Principal Secretary (Tax) to submit the government files pertaining to the sanctions given for the breweries.

According to the Vigilance, it is not possible to show the files to the witnesses as their statements are being recorded at this juncture. The government also pointed out that the High Court had earlier rejected another petition, alleging graft in the sanction for breweries.

The complaint

Chennithala had approached the Governor to file criminal cases against the government officials over the brewery allocation, but the government did not give permission.

As per a Supreme Court directive, the government permission is required to file cases against its officials. The Vigilance is of the view that Chennithala's petition does not have legal validity. The same stance was adopted in the plea filed, seeking to end the further proceedings in the case.

Chennithala's argument

Chennithala's lawyer pointed out that the court is now considering the legal proceedings in a private petition. The final picture would be known only after the court verdict. Therefore, Chennithala's lawyer contended that the Vigilance plea to end the proceedings should be dismissed.

Last time after recording Chennithala's statements, a notice was issued to examine the former ministers as witnesses.

Meanwhile, Left Democratic Front convenor E P Jayarajan said that he would not be a witness and that he would face the case legally.

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