Kerala High Court has ordered CBI to take up investigation into the mystery over the death of Malayalam actor Kalabhavan Mani. The court also directed the agency to start the probe in a month.

 

A hesitant CBI had rejected an earlier request from the state government to take up the investigation. The agency also tried to evade the probe during the hearing in the High Court as well. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Kerala Police had failed to ascertain weather the death was a suicide or a murder.
 

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Mani's wife Nimmy and brother RLV Ramakrishnan approached the court demanding CBI probe after the police remained clueless about the reason behind the death even after months of investigation. The real reason behind the death of the great artist should be brought out, the court felt. The police investigation found the presence of poison in Mani's body. It should be ascertained how the poison entered his body, the court observed.
 

The CBI remained reluctant and argued that liver ailment caused the actor's death. Hence, there was no point in taking up the probe, the CBI said. But the court rejected CBI arguments to skip the responsibility of investigation.

 

The 45-year-old actor, who played in versatile roles in South Indian films, was found in a serious condition at his farmhouse at Chalakudy on 5 March last year. Though he was rushed to Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, he breathed his last next day.
 

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Family members of Mani had publicly aired serious doubts about friends of the actor who partied with him in the farmhouse on the night of 5 March. The police had conducted polygraph test of the close aides of Mani. Lab tests at Central Forensic Science Laboratory in Hyderabad had found high level of methyl alcohol in Mani's blood samples that led to the suspicions that spurious liquor could have caused his death.
 

Related: Presence of illicit liquor in Kalabhavan Mani's body, says lab
 

Even after yearlong investigations, the SIT failed to crack the case and sought permission to close the file.