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Palmolein case: Withdrawal petition postponed to Nov 16

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Thrissur: A Vigilance court here on Saturday postponed to November 16, the petition filed by the Kerala government seeking to withdraw the two-decade old palmolein case.

The government in accordance with its Cabinet decision, had filed a petition in the court on October 17, seeking to withdraw the case.

Petitions opposing the Government decision filed by the Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan and Sunil Kumar MLA were also posted for November 16.

Former Chief Minister late K Karunakaran, former Central Vigilance Commissioner P J Thomas and Sports Authority of India Director General Jiji Thomson were among the eight accused in the case.

The government petition had been filed at the Vigilance Court here where the case is pending, seeking withdrawal of prosecution proceedings against all the accused.

The Congress-led UDF government had taken a decision to withdraw the case,holding that import of palmolein had neither caused any loss to the exchequer nor had anyone made unlawful gain out of it.

Former Civil Supplies Minister T H Musthaffa was also accused in the case.

The case pertains to alleged corruption in import of palmolein through a firm in Singapore when Karunakaran was Chief Minister in 1992. Thomas was Civil Supplies Commissioner and Thomson MD of the state Civil Supplies Corporation.

The case had haunted Karunakaran during his last stint as Chief Minister with the opposition as well as rivals in the Congress seizing on the issue to run him down.

Thomas had to step down as CVC two years back in the backdrop of the case.

The vigilance inquiry into the deal was ordered by the LDF ministry led by E K Nayanar in 1999.

PTI

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