Kochi: Kerala Excise Minister K.Babu on Saturday handed over his resignation to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, hours after a court ordered a case be registered against him for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs.50 lakh.
The Thrissur Vigilance court ordered a case against Babu after the vigilance department asked for a month’s time to submit a verification report following the complaint by whistleblower bar owner Biju Ramesh that he bribed Babu to permit bars to continue to function.
Public interest litigation was filed pertaining to the information that Babu had accepted a bribe of Rs 50 lakh for renewal of liquor licence from bar owner Biju Ramesh. A one-month time period to complete the investigation was asked by the court from VACB. The court also exclaimed that since offering bribe is also considered a crime, a case should be registered against bar owner Ramesh too.
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V S Achuthanandan, an opposition leader acting on the court’s directive, said that Babu should give an immediate resignation.
V M Sudheeran, Congress state chief, issued a statement claiming that the party took the decision of the court very seriously and an appropriate decision would be taken on the matter.
Saying that he respected the decision taken by the court, Babu said, “I have informed the Chief Minister my readiness to quit the office. I would not cling on to the post on any technical ground.” The Excise Minister alleged that CPI (M) had planned this accusation with the help of bar owners against him.
(With inputs from IANS)