Palmolein Case May Weaken After Karunakaran's Death

Palmolein Case May Weaken After Karunakaran's Death
With the death of former Kerala Chief Minister K Karunakaran, his name would cease to be on the list of accused in the palmolein import case in which Central Vigilance Commissioner P J Thomas figures as the eighth accused.

According to legal circles, Karunakaran's death would not come in the way of the case continuing in the Vigilace Court here. However, the case might get weakened, they said.

The case would not be quashed in the wake of death of the first accused - Karunakaran, legal experts said.

The case was posted for further hearing to January 12 when the court had taken it up on December 17.

The case relates to loss to the tune of Rs 2.32 core allegedly caused to the exchequer by import of palmolein oil in 1991-92 when 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.

The court postponed the case in view of the Supreme Court's interim stay on further proceedings by the lower court based on an appeal filed by Karunakaran in 2007 .

Thomas figures 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 Penal Code, the accused caused the exchequer a loss of Rs 2.32 crore by importing palmolein through a Singapore-based firm at exorbitant rates.

The Supreme Court, through an interim order in 2007, had stayed further proceedings in the lower court while considering a petition filed by Karunakaran.

Earlier this month, the Kerala government moved the apex court for vacating the stay for the trial pending in the lower court.
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