Manichan turns hostile at payoff case trial

SPRINGING A SURPRISE: Manichan says he had not paid any money as pay off.

SPRINGING A SURPRISE: Manichan says he had not paid any money as pay off.  

Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Abkari contractor Manichan, convicted for murder in Kalluvathukkal liquor tragedy case, and the former Chairman of the Attingal municipality Jayaram turned hostile at the Vigilance Special Court here during the trial of the Manichan payoff case.

Manichan who was examined by the Special Prosecutor M. Jayachandran Nair before the Vigilance Special Judge on Monday said he did not know Kadakampally Surendran, former CPI(M) legislator, who had represented the Kazhakuttom constituency. "I know that he was a legislator, but I am seeing him for the first time here," Manichan said. Mr. Surendran stands accused of accepting a bribe of Rs.50,000.

Manichan said he had not heard about the payoff and added that he had not paid any money as payoff as he knew it is a crime. During the examination, Manichan said the police had framed him in the Kalluvathukkal liquor tragedy case. Manichan said his business was selling toddy. Asked about `Kaalapani' by the Special Judge M. S. Mohanachandran, Manichan said he does not know about it. Manichan also stated that Balachandran was not his office manager and that he used to come to the office to do work.

Manichan said it was not true that he visited the Kazhakuttom Assembly Election Committee office in 1999 and paid Rs.50,000. Asked whether the telephone 641116 was his, Manichan said the number was not his and said his telephone number was 640957. Manichan said he had a cell phone and that its number was 98470 60882.

To a question, Manichan said the statement given to the police that he knew the former City Mayor V. Sivankutty and that he had demanded Rs.25 lakhs as donation for Kairali news channel was not true. During the examination, Manichan said he does not know CPI(M) leader V.S. Achuthanandan, Swami Saswathikananda, former Minister T.K. Ramakrishnan, former Chief Minister E.K. Nayanar and his political secretary P. Sasi.

Manichan, during the examination, said he does not know Jayaram, former Chairman of Attingal municipality. Jayaram, during the cross examination by defence counsel Ajith Sasthamanagalam, denied that he had taken any money from Manichan. The party has a transparent mechanism for collecting funds, Jayaram said.

Rejecting the plea of the defence counsel, the Special Judge declared Manichan and Jayaram, both prosecution witnesses, as hostile. Manichan's manager, Balachandran will be examined before the Vigilance Special Court on Tuesday.

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