Thiruvananthapuram: Adding a new dimension to the bar bribe scam, a bar hotel owner on Sunday alleged that there had been attempts to sabotage the Vigilance inquiry into the charge that Finance Minister KM Mani had demanded and taken a hefty sum as bribe for favourable decisions.
Biju Ramesh, working president of Kerala Bar Hotel Owners Assoication, said he would approach the High Court seeking a CBI probe if the Vigilance inquiry was not conducted in an impartial manner.
"There have been attempts to sabotage the probe. If the inquiry is not moving in proper direction, I myself will approach the High Court for a CBI probe," he told reporters here.
Rubbishing the charge, Mani said in Kottayam that Ramesh's contention had no credibility as he had been making contadictory statements on the issue.
Seizing on the issue, CPI(M) leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the arrest of Mani based on the FIR that had already been registered in the case.
"More and more evidences are coming out in the case. Mani should be arrested on the basis of the FIR in the case," Balakrishnan, a CPI(M) Politburo member and former home minister, said in Kottayam.
Rattling the Congress-led UDF ministry, Ramesh had alleged three months back that Mani had been given a hefty sum promising that he would help the bar owners for re-opening some of the closed bars.
Based on the allegation, the Government initially ordered a "quick verification' and later lodged an FIR in the case for a detailed investigation.
Mani, supremo of Kerala Congress (M), denied the allegation as baseless right from the start.