The Kerala high court on Tuesday dismissed petitions by Opposition leader VS Achuthanandan and BJP leader Alphons Kannanthanam challenging a vigilance court order refusing further investigation against chief minister Oommen Chandy in the Palmolein import case of 1991.
Dismissing the petitions, justice SS Sateeshchandran, in an over 60-page ruling directed special judge Vigilance, Thrissur, to take further steps to expedite proceedings of the case.
Earlier, the vigilance court had accepted the report that no materials were available against Chandy, the then finance minister, during whose tenure the Palmolein import deal was inked.
The court said the charge that Chandy had any role in the corruption alleged by other accused has been finally concluded not once, but twice. The investigating agency found no material to hold Chandy culpable for any offence involved in the case.
The petitioners had not till date come forward to file any complaint imputing corruption against Chandy though the investigation report filed against the other accused proceeded way back in 2004.
The court also found that there was some force in the argument that objections are raised by the petitioners only to drag on proceedings and thus to gain some political advantage, keeping alive the allegations against the chief minister.
The 1992 Palmolein import case was first registered in 1999 when EK Nayanar led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government was in power. K Karunakaran was the first accused in the case relating to import of 15,000 tonnes of Palmolein from Malaysia which allegedly caused a loss of Rs. 2.32 crore to the state exchequer.