Seven of late actor Kalabhavan Mani's friends on Friday informed a court here that they were ready to undergo lie-detector tests, as demanded by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which is probing the death of the popular actor in 2016.
According to the guidelines, a lie-detector test can be undertaken only with the concurrence of those who are asked to undergo it.
The close friends of the actor include film actors Jaffer Idukki, Sabumon and five others.
On Friday, they presented themselves before the Ernakulam Judicial Magistrate Court and expressed their willingness to undergo lie-detector tests.
Mani, 45, who acted in 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 body but the police team probing the matter failed to crack the case.
Mani was staying in a 30-acre farmhouse near Chalakkudy, away from his home where his wife and daughter lived, where some of his friends who agreed to undergo lie-detector tests were believed to be present the day the late actor fell ill.
After his death, the hospital authorities reported the presence of a chemical in the body, leading to speculation that he may not have died a natural death.
Since then the family members of Mani have been running from pillar to post, to ascertain the real cause of his death. Last year the Kerala government too sought a CBI probe into the matter, but the case was not taken up by the probe agency.
Mani's brother later met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh when he visited Kochi and repeated the family's demand that the truth will only come out through a CBI probe.
Finally in 2017, the CBI decided to take up the case after the Kerala High Court too raised a similar demand.
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