Thiruvananthapuram: With the death of former
Kerala Chief Minister K Karunakaran, his name would cease to
be on the list of accused in the palmolein import case in
which Central Vigilance Commissioner P J Thomas figures as the
According to legal circles, Karunakaran`s death would not
come in the way of the case continuing in the Vigilance Court
here. However, the case might get weakened, they said.
The case would not be quashed in the wake of death of the
first accused--Karunakaran, legal experts said.
The case was posted for further hearing to January 12
when the court had taken it up on December 17.
The case relates to loss to the tune of Rs 2.32 core
allegedly caused to the exchequer by import of palmolein oil
in 1991-92 when Karunarakan was the chief minister and P J
Thomas the Food Secretary and a member of the Board of the
Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation.
The court postponed the case in view of the Supreme
Court`s interim stay on further proceedings by the lower court
based on an appeal filed by Karunakaran in 2007 .
Thomas figures as the eighth accused in the chargesheet
filed by the Vigilance and Anti-corruption Bureau in 2003.
According to the chargesheet, filed under the Prevention of
Corruption Act and the Indian Penel Code, the accused caused
the exchequer a loss of Rs 2.32 crore by importing palmolein
through a Singapore-based firm at exorbitant rates.
The Supreme Court, through an interim order in 2007, had
stayed further proceedings in the lower court while
considering a petition filed by Karunakaran.
Earlier this month, the Kerala government moved the apex
court for vacating the stay for the trial pending in the lower