Palmolein case posted to March 24

A Vigilance court here Thursday posted to March 24 the further hearing of the 1992 palmolein import case.

Thrissur: A Vigilance court here Thursday posted
to March 24 the further hearing of the 1992 palmolein import case, in which CPI-M veteran and opposition leader in the Kerala Assembly V S Achuthanandan filed a petition to implead
himself as a petitioner.

Vigilance court Judge V Bhaskaran posted the petition of
Achuthanandan also to March 24 for further hearing.

Achuthanandan had challenged an investigation report by
Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) giving a clean
chit to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in the deal.

The VACB in its report submitted to the court on January
seven had stated that there was no ground for listing Chandy
as an accused in the palmolein import corruption case, when he
was the Finance Minister in the UDF Ministry headed by late K

The report said there was no evidence to include Chandy as
an accused in the case as facts, evidences and circumstances
in the further investigation revealed that Chandy had not
committed any illegal acts or omissions in his capacity as
Finance Minister then, the report had said.

Though Chandy was not an accused in the case originally,
his name figured following a discharge petition filed by
former Food Minister T H Mustaffa.

Mustaffa, an accused in the case, had pleaded that justice
given to Chandy by not making him an accused in the case
should be given to him (Mustaffa) also.

Seizing on the development, the previous CPI(M) led-LDF
government filed a petition seeking further investigation in
the case, stating more persons were likely to become accused.

The long-pending corruption case, in which Karunakaran was
first accused, had cost P J Thomas the post of Central
Vigilance Commissioner. He was listed as the sixth accused in
the case relating to import of 32,000 tonnes of palmolein from
Malyasia, causing a loss of Rs 2.32 crore to the exchequer.

P A Ahamed, Special Prosecutor in the case appointed by
previous LDF regime resigned from the post last week holding
that he was not satisfied with the further investigation