A court here on Tuesday granted permission to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct lie-detector tests on seven friends of late actor Kalabhavan Mani. On February 8, Jaffer Idukki, Sabumon and five others had presented themselves before the Ernakulam Chief Judicial Magistrate, offering to undergo the tests as demanded by the CBI that was probing the popular actor's death in 2016. According to the guidelines, the test can take place only with the concurrence of those who are to undergo it. Mani, 45, who acted in some 200 films in Malayalam and other languages, was admitted to a hospital in Kochi on March 4, 2016 for an alleged liver ailment. He died two days later.
Forensic experts said an insecticide (Chlorpyrifos) was found in the actor's blood but the police failed to crack the case. Mani was staying in a 30-acre farmhouse near Chalakkudy, away from his home, his wife and daughter, where these friends were believed to be present on the day the late actor fell ill. After his death, the hospital authorities reported the presence of an organophosphate pesticide in the body, leading to speculation that Mani might not have died a natural death.
Ever since, his family has been running from pillar to post to ascertain the real cause. In 2018, the Kerala government too sought a CBI probe.
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