VS slams Chandy over SC observation in palmolein oil case

CPI(M)-led LDF opposition in Kerala on Monday took pot shots at Chief Minister Oommen Chandy over certain adverse observations made by the Supreme Court in connection with the two-decade old palmolein oil import corruption case.

PTI| Updated: Sep 01, 2014, 23:17 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: CPI(M)-led LDF opposition in Kerala on Monday took pot shots at Chief Minister Oommen Chandy over certain adverse observations made by the Supreme Court in connection with the two-decade old palmolein oil import corruption case.

Seizing on certain critical observations made by the apex court while considering a plea by him seeking a CBI probe, CPI(M) stalwart and opposition leader V S Achuthanandan said the latest turn in the case vindicated his stand.

"The court had sought to know whether there would be a fair probe if it would be conducted by the police with Chandy remaining in office. We have been asking the same question for quite some time. The court's observation has clearly vindicated our stand", the nonagenarian leader told reporters here.

Putting up a brave face, Chandy, however, said he was not afraid of any inquiry.

"The case was first probed by the Vigilance and Anti- Corrupton Bureau when the LDF was in power. I was not made an accused in its report," Chandy told reporters in Kozhikode.

The case related to the import of 15,000 tonnes of palmolein oil from Malaysia that allegedly caused a loss of Rs 2.32 crore to the exchequer when late K Karunakaran was the Chief Minister and Chandy the Finance Minister during early 1990s.

Though Chandy did not figure as an accused initially, a few years back a Vigilance Court here ordered a probe into his role in the cabinet decision to import palmolein oil.

This was later reversed by the Vigilance Court in Thrissur district following which Achuthanandan approached the Kerala High Court, which also dismissed plea for further investigation against Chandy.

The CPI(M) leader later went in appeal to the Supreme Court.