Palmolein case: State’s reply sought on VS` petiti
Kochi: The Kerala High Court Wednesday directed the state government to inform it of its views or file a counter affidavit in two weeks on the petition by CPI-M leader VS Achuthanandan, challenging a vigilance court`s decision giving a clean chit to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in the 1991 Palmolein import case.
The direction in this regard was issued by Justice S Satishchandran.
Achuthanandan had submitted that the vigilance judge at Thrissur had passed the order without considering the objections raised by him.
The case relates to irregularities in import of about 15,000 tonnes of palmolein from Malaysia, causing a loss of Rs 2.32 crore to the state exchequer in 1991-92 when Chandy was finance minister in the K Karunakaran cabinet.
While dismissing the petitions by Achuthanandan and BJP leader Alphons Kannamthanan, Thrissur vigilance court judge V Bhaskaran had upheld the report of Superintendent of Police (Vigilance and Anti-corruption bureau) that there was no evidence to include Chandy as an accused in the case.
Achuthanandan had moved the petition in the vigilance court, seeking further investigation, stating that more persons were likely to be listed as accused, while Kannanthanam wanted Chandy to be also included as accused in the case.
The vigilance had submitted a report stating that Chandy had not played any role out of the way in import of palmolein from Malaysia and hence there was no evidence to list him as accused before the vigilance court at Thiruvananthapuram last year. The judge did not accept that report and had ordered a further investigation in the matter.
The long-pending corruption case, in which Karunakaran was first accused, had cost P J Thomas the post of Chief Vigilance Commissioner. Thomas was listed as 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.
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