Thiruvananthapuram: IAS official Jiji Thompson will be the new chief secretary of Kerala, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy announced here on Wednesday.
Chandy said this to reporters here after the weekly cabinet meeting.
The 1980-batch Kerala cadre official's appointment comes despite former chief minister VS Achuthanandan asking the Chandy government earlier this month to not consider Thomson for the chief secretary's post as he is an accused in the controversial palm oil case.
But Chandy brushed aside the suggestion and said the decision had been taken, and that Thomson would join when incumbent EK Bharath Bhushan retires at the end of this month.
Thomson, early this month, rejoined the state service after a stint as director of the Sports Authority of India.
The import of 15,000 tonnes of palm oil was undertaken in 1992. A case was registered in 1999 when the Communists led by EK Nayanar were in power.
Former chief minister K Karunakaran, then food minister TH Mustafa, and bureaucrats PJ Thomas (who had to quit as chief vigilance commissioner during the UPA-II regime) and Thompson were charged with causing a loss of Rs 2.32 crore to the state by importing oil at an enhanced price from Malaysia.