V.S. Achuthanandan wants further probe in palm oil case
Veteran Kerala politician V.S. Achuthanandan has moved the Supreme Court seeking to quash the Kerala High Court's decision in June this year giving a clean chit to CM Oommen Chandy, and demanding a further probe into the palm oil import case.
The high court had dismissed a petition filed by Achuthanandan and former bureaucrat and legislator K.J.Alphonse, requesting cancellation of a Thrissur vigilance court's verdict in May last year which accepted a report by a vigilance probe team giving a clean chit to Chandy.
In his petition filed Saturday, Achuthanandan said that Chandy was the finance minister when the palm oil import case took place and hence further investigation into his role should be carried out.
Incidentally, Achuthanandan decided to file the petition at a time when the Chandy government last month decided to approach the Thrissur vigilance court asking for the withdrawal of the palm oil import case of 1992.
Achuthanandan's new petition is likely aimed at thwarting Chandy's attempts to withdraw the case because going by convention, no lower court will take up a case pending in the apex court.
The import of 15,000 tonnes of palm oil was undertaken in 1992. The case was registered in 1999 when the Communists led by E.K.Nayanar were in power.
Former chief minister K.Karunakaran, then food minister T.H. Mustafa and bureaucrats P.J.Thomas and Jiji Thompson were charged with causing a loss of Rs.2.32 crore to the exchequer by importing oil from Malaysia at an enhanced price.
The vigilance probe team early this year had concluded that Chandy had no role in the import of the palm oil even though he was the finance minister in the Karunakaran cabinet at the time.
(Posted on 12-10-2013)