Thrissur: Thrissur Vigilance Court on Tuesday observed that Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who was the Finance Minister when the Palmolein scam took place, was aware of the transactions related to the scam.
"It is a fact that Oommen Chandy had signed the file, so he cannot put the blame on officers alone," Vigilance court judge S. S. Vasan said while considering discharge pleas filed by former Chief Secretary S Padmakumar and former Additional Chief Secretary Zachariah Mathew.
Chandy had earlier said that he was unaware of the Palmolein deal and he had not seen the files related to it.
The court acquitted the two IAS officers, the third and fourth accused in the case, saying that the officers were just following the Cabinet decision.
The case was taken up after two years. The Thrissur Vigilance Court had rejected the State government’s plea to quash the case in 2014.
Though the government approached the Supreme Court the appeal was rejected.
Former Chief Minister K. Karunakaran was the first accused in the case related to the import of 15,000 tonnes of palmolein from Malaysia, which allegedly caused a loss of Rs.2.32 crore to the exchequer. A Vigilance case was filed in the case in 1997. The Vigilance court had earlier given a clean chit to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in the case, citing that there was no material evidence for suggesting involvement of Chandy in the case, who was the Finance Minister then.