Palmolein Case Posted to January 25

Palmolein Case Posted to January 25
A Vigilance Court here today posted to January 25 the trial in palmolein import graft case, in which former chief minister and Congress stalwart late K Karunakaran and Central Vigilance Commissioner P J Thomas figure in the list of accused.

When the case came up today, Public Prosecutor informed the court that first accused K Karunakaran was no more and he would file a report in this regard soon.

As per information, the Supreme court had yesterday vacated the stay on the trial of the palmolein case, he said. However official communication from the apex court was yet to be received, he said.

It was also pointed out that all documents related to the case were with the supreme court.

The judge S Jagadeesh posted the case to January 25 before which the records of the case were expected from the apex court.

The case related to loss to the tune of Rs 2.32 core allegedly caused to the exchequer by import of palmolein 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.

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 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.

Former Food Minister and Congress leader T H Musthafa, Former Chief Secretary S Padmakumar, Former Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation Chairman Zachariah Mathew, Former KSCSC Managing Director Jiji Thomson and two representatives of the Malaysia based Power and Energy Ltd are the other accused in the case.

Asked about the Supreme Court's decision, Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan told reporters, "This a matter concerning the court, which has its own procedures. It is not proper on the part of the petitioner or the accused to comment on the procedures of the court."
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