Vigilance registers FIR against former minister K. Babu

The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau on Thursday registered a case against former excise minister K Babu on charges of corruption in awarding bar licences and forming policies.

The case was registered after a quick verification found “prima facie corruption” in the matter. The FIR was submitted in Muvattupuzha vigilance court.

The report said that the former minister accepted bribe for issuing bar licences without following the criteria of ‘first come, first grant’. It goes on to say that the former minister prepared a note based on which a fresh Abkari Policy was drafted without informing the excise commissioner and taxes department.

As per this order which came out on March 31, 2014, dry-days declared on Sundays were withdrawn and all hotels with required hygiene and licence were allowed to open beer and wine parlours. The report states that the presentation of a note will not satisfy the criteria of files coming before the consideration of the cabinet.

The FIR accuses Babu of withholding bar licence applications for months, while granting other applications on the very day of submitting the same.

The FIR states that the former minister committed criminal misconduct by showing differential treatment in granting sanction of fresh bar licenses in the period 2011-2016.