Thiruvananthapuram: Congress mouthpiece Veekshanam daily, in an editorial, Thursday snubbed Chief Secretary Jiji Thomson for his recent remarks on the controversial Palmolein deal.
“Jiji Thomson’s remark on the Palmolein case was inappropriate and untimely. There is no sincerity in it, rather it is a hypocritical remark,” the daily alleged.
“By making such remarks, he was trying to come out clean from the charges,” it said.
Terming the decision to import palmolein without inviting tender as wrong, Jiji Thomson said he had put a dissent note in the file sent to the Cabinet during the K Karunakaran regime in the 91-92 period against the Cabinet’s decision to go for palmolein import.
"A civil servant can only point out certain things. It is for the cabinet to take decision. Once a decision is taken, it was the duty of the IAS officer to implement it," he said.
"It is for this that I am being charged with conspiracy in the case," he added.
After the present UDF government came to power, it decided to withdraw the prosecution in the case holding that it was politically motivated.
Besides, the state had not incurred any loss due to the import and had in fact earned profit of about Rs 7 crore in the deal.
However, Kerala High Court rejected government plea to withdraw the case, being pursued by CPI-M veteran and state Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan.
The court had also dismissed a plea by Jiji Thomson to discharge him from the case. The matter is now pending before the Supreme Court.
The case relates to alleged irregularities in the import of palmolein from a Malaysian company in Singapore by the then K Karunakaran-led UDF government in 1991-92.