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Govt withdrawing palmolein case legally, says Chandy

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Govt withdrawing palmolein case legally, says Chandy
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Thiruvananthapuram: Defending the Congress-led UDF government’s decision to withdraw the two-decade old palmolein import deal corruption case, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Wednesday said there was nothing wrong in it and "it is based on a policy and stand of UDF on the case".

"It is unfair to put officials in difficulty for certain procedure irregularities for 20 years and I do not believe that officials should be punished for that," Chandy told reporters here.

Former Chief Minister late Congress veteran K Karunakaran, former CVC P J Thomas and Sports Authority of India (SAI) Director General Jiji Thomson were among the eight accused in the case which pertained to alleged corruption in import of palmolein through a Singapore firm in 1992 when K Karunakaran was the Chief Minister heading the UDF Ministry.

Chandy contended that the State government had not incurred any loss due to the import and rather had a profit of Rs 8.30 crore. The case was that if the contract had been given in another manner, the profit could have been Rs 13 crore and that was how the loss had been calculated, he said.

This government had revived the UDF Ministry's order in 2005 to close the case, which was reversed by the LDF Government that came to power a year later, he said.

When asked that instead of withdrawing the case, the trial could have been speeded up, Chandy said the case was already on for over 20 years.

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