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Govt to drop ex-CVC, IAS officer from palmolein case

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Thiruvananthapuram: In a significant move, the Congress-led UDF Government has decided to drop former CVC P J Thomas and senior IAS officer Jiji Thomson from the accused list in the two-decade old palmolein import case with the approval of the court where the case is pending.

A decision in this regard was taken by a meeting of the state cabinet earlier this week, according to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

Thomas, who resigned as CVC two years ago after the Supreme Court quashed his appointment, figured as the eighth accused in the case, which pertains to alleged corruption in import of palmolein from Malaysia in 1991 when late Congress veteran K Karunakaran was the chief minister.

Thomas was Civil Supplies Commissioner in the state then.

Thomsan, now Sports Authority of India (SAI) Director General, was the Managing Director of the state Civil Supplies Corporation which imported palmolein allegedly at a higher price than the international rates prevailing then.

Justifying the decision to drop the two, Chandy told reporters here last evening that during his earlier stint as chief minister in 2005 a decision was taken to drop officials from the list of accused in the case. However, the LDF Ministry which came to power in 2006 reversed this decision.

Though court had then sought a clarification from the LDF Government on the reason for reversal of the decision of the previous ministry, the government did not furnish reply, Chandy said.

Thomas ran into trouble after an RTI query revealed that he continued to be an accused in the palmolein case even after his appointment as head of the anti-corruption watchdog.

He had to resign from the post in March 2011 after the Supreme Court held his appointment as CVC as illegal.

Chandy said this case had been pending for a long period and officials belonging to IAS had suffered a lot.

PTI

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