Decide on state's plea in palm oil case, SC to Kerala HC
Posted on Sep 02 2014 | IANS
New Delhi, Sep 1 : The Supreme Court Monday asked the Kerala High Court to decide, as early as possible, the plea by the state government withdrawing 1991 cases of palm oil import case which had clouded the appointment of P.J.Thomas as the chief vigilance commissioner and led to his exit from the post.
A bench of Justice T.S.Thakur and Justice R. Banumathi asked the high court to decide the Kerala government's appeal within three months.
The state government had moved the high court after the trial court declined its plea withdrawing the case.
It is alleged that Kerala government decided to withdraw the case to favour Chief Minister Oommen Chandy who was the finance minister when palm oil was imported way back in 1991.
The apex court however said that the petition by the former chief minister V.S.Achutanandan, the present leader of opposition, seeking a fresh investigation into the 23-year-old scandal will stand on.
Achutanandan has contended that the earlier probes were done when Congress was in power and favoured Chandy.
The palm oil case relates to the import of palm oil by the Kerala government from a Malayasian company between Oct 4, 1991 and April 1992. It was alleged that the oil that was bought at an inflated price had caused a loss of Rs.2.33 crore to state exchequer.