Palmolein oil case: SC asks Kerala HC to expedite hearing

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Kerala High Court to expeditiously decided the state government's plea seeking to withdraw the 23-year-old palmolein oil import scam case in which names of some politicians and bureaucrats have cropped up.

A bench comprising justices TS Thakur and R Banumathi, asked the high court to dispose of within three months the appeal filed by the Kerala government against the trial court order deciding to go ahead by the 1991 case which came in the way of appointment of PJ Thomas as the Chief Vigilance Commissioner.

Thomas' appointment as CVC was quashed by the Supreme Court due to the pendency of the case against him.

The apex court was hearing the petition filed by former Chief Minister VS Achutanandan seeking a fresh investigation into the 23-year-old alleged scandal.
It was alleged that Kerala government decided to withdraw the case to favour Chief Minister Oommen Chandy who was the Finance Minister when palm oil was imported in 1991.

Achutanandan has submitted that the earlier probe were done when Congress was in power and favoured the Chandy.

The case relates to the import of palm oil at inflated price by the Kerala government from a Malaysia-based company between October 4, 1991 and April 1992 causing a loss of Rs 2.33 crores to the state exchequer. 

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