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SC seeks Centre's response on P J Thomas' plea

SC seeks Centres response on P J Thomas plea

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday sought response from the Centre and CBI on a plea by retired IAS officer P J Thomas seeking quashing of the case against him in the over two decade-old palmolein oil import scam.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and justices A R Dave and Vikramajit Sen also issued notice to Kerala government on the petition filed by Thomas.

The apex court in March 2011 had quashed the appointment of Thomas as Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) because of the pending corruption case against him in a designated CBI court in Kerala.

The scam in which Thomas was listed as the eighth accused related to palmolein imports in 1991. A case was filed in connection with the imports in 1992 and Thomas figured in the charge sheet filed in 1998.

Thomas was the Union Telecom secretary before he was made the 14th CVC in September 2010.

He was the Food Secretary in the Kerala government at the time of import and then chief minister K Karunakaran was another accused in the case.

Karunakaran died in December 2010.

The case against Thomas pertains to the import of palm oil from a Singapore firm, which was allegedly done at prices higher than the international rate.

As secretary, Food and Civil Supplies, Thomas had issued the government order for the import.

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