Palmolein case takes political turn | india | Hindustan Times
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Palmolein case takes political turn

In a new development in the palmolein import graft case, Kerala's LDF Government on Saturday filed a petition seeking further probe holding that some more persons were likely to become accused in the case, seen an apparent move to drag in Congress leader Oommen Chandy in the case.

india Updated: Feb 26, 2011 12:49 IST

In a new development in the palmolein import graft case, Kerala's LDF Government on Saturday filed a petition seeking further probe holding that some more persons were likely to become accused in the case, seen an apparent move to drag in Congress leader Oommen Chandy in the case.

The petition filed in the Special Vigilance Court hearing the case, in wich Central Vigilance Commisssioner P J Thomas is also an accused, the government said the investigation agency proposed to condut further probe in the matter regarding the involvement of other persons, who were likely to become accused in the case.

The name of Chandy,who was finance minister in the UDF ministry headed by late K Karunakaran which cleared the deal in 1992, came up in connection with a discharge peitition filed by the then food minister T H Mustaffa ,the second accused in the case.

In his petition,Mustaffa held that it was fair to have spared Chandy in the case but the same yardstick of fairness had not been not applied in his case.

Mustaffa had said in his petition that the prosecution rightly did not find fault with Chandy but unjustly arraingned him as an accused.

Mustaffa's counsel, however, opposed the government petition saying that the contents of his discharge petition was wilfully distorted and misused for political gains.

The Judge S Jagadeesh posted the hearing on the petition for March 7.

Seizing on Mustaffa's petition, the LDF Government has of late made veiled threats of arraigning Chandy, a chief ministerial contender of the UDF, as an accused in the case.

The case related alleged corruption in impoprting pamolein from Malaysia, which allegedly caused a loss to the tune of Rs 2.32 core in 1991-92 when late congress leader K Karunarakan was the chief minister and P J Thomas the Food Secretary and a member of the Board of the Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation.

Thomas has been listed as the eighth accused in the chargesheet filed by the Vigilance and Anti-corruption Bureau in 2003.

According to the chargesheet, filed under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penel Code, the caused accused the exchequer a loss of Rs 2.32 crore by importing palmolein through a Malaysia based firm at exorbitant rates.