Vigilance dismisses VS, Kannanthanam petitions against Chandy
Vigilance court rejected petitions filed by CPI-M leader V S Achuthanandan and BJP leader Alphons Kannanthanam that Oommen Chandy was accused in the Palmolein import corruption case.
Thrissur (Ker): A Vigilance court here on Thursday rejected petitions filed by CPI-M leader V S Achuthanandan and BJP leader Alphons Kannanthanam challenging the Vigilance report that there was no ground to list Chief Minister Oommen Chandy as accused in the Palmolein import corruption case.
Dismissing the petitions, Vigilance judge V Bhaskaran upheld the report submitted by Superintendent of Police (Vigilance and Anti-corruption bureau), VN Sasidharan, before it on January 7 this year that there was no evidence to include Chandy as an accused in the case.
Opposition leader in the assembly, Achuthanandan had filed the petition, seeking further investigation in the case stating that more persons were likely to be listed as accused in case, while Kannanthanam sought inclusion of Chandy as an accused.
The vigilance report stated that Chandy had not gone out of the way in getting palmolein imported from Malaysia and hence there was no evidence to list him as an accused before the Vigilance court at Thiruvananthapuram last year.
Though Chandy was never an accused, his name figured following a discharge petition filed last year by former food minister T H Mustaffa, who is the second accused in the case.
The case pertains to early 1990s when Chandy was Finance Minister in the UDF government headed by late K Karunakaran.
The long-pending case, in which Karunakaran was the main 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, causing a loss of Rs 2.32 crore to the exchequer.
Former Thiruvanthapuram vigilance court judge P K Haneefa had written to the High Court a few months ago seeking exemption from hearing the case, following which it was transferred to the Thrissur court.