The Kerala Assembly Speaker P Ramakrishnan has given his nod to allow Vigilance proceedings against Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala and MLA KM Shaji. The Vigilance will probe Chennithala’s part in the bar bribery case as alleged by hotelier Biju Ramesh. The Home Ministry had earlier sought permission from the Speaker for a probe against the senior Congress leader following Biju Ramesh’s claims.
Meanwhile, Ramesh Chennithala has sent a legal notice to Biju Ramesh for his "defamatory claims" against the senior Congress leader. In the notice, sent via former Prosecutor General Advocate T Asaf Ali, the Opposition Leader demanded that Biju Ramesh withdraw his defamatory statement against Chennithala and publicly apologise for it.
The notice says, “Biju Ramesh’s baseless allegation against Ramesh Chennithala, who has been selflessly involved in political service for half a century, has caused incalculable damage to the latter’s reputation.” Considering the facts, the Congress leader’s legal representation has added that they would progress with civil and criminal cases if Biju Ramesh doesn’t withdraw his statements and publicly apologise.
The legal notice follows Biju Ramesh’s claims that he had paid Ramesh Chennithala, who was the KPCC President during the UDF tenure, for the reopening of the bars that the Oommen Chandy government. However, his statement filed under section 164 of the CrPC was supported by an audio recording, and the latter was proved a fake by a digital forensic expert. In this scenario, Biju Ramesh following through with the same statement amounts to defamation and thus the legal notice.