Thiruvananthapuram: In a decision fraught
with political significance, the Vigilance Court here Monday allowed a plea from prosecution to further investigate the palmolein import graft case.
The prosecution in a petition filed earlier this month
had sought court direction for further probe into the case
contending that some more persons were likely to become
accused in the case.
The move was seen as an attmept to implicate Opposition
Leader Oommen Chandy, who was Finance Minister in the UDF
ministry headed by late K Karunakaran, which cleared the
palmolein import deal in 1992, which led to the case.
The case related to alleged corruption in the import of
palmolein from Malaysia at exorbitant rates, which allegedly
caused a loss of Rs 2.32 crore to the exchequer in 1991-92.
The accused in the case included then Food Minister T H
Musthafa and former Central Vigilance Commissioner P J
Thomas, who was Food secretary during the period.
Musthafa`s advocate had recently moved a petition before
the Court that like the concession given to Chandy, the then
Minister of Finance, his client should also be absolved from
The chargesheet in the case was filed by the Vigilance and
Anti-corruption Bureau in 2003.