The Kerala High Court has admitted a petition by CPI(M) veteran V S Achuthanandan challenging a vigilance court order giving clean chit to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who was a member of K Karunakaran cabinet in 1991-92 when the Palmolein case rocked the state.
Admitting the petition, Justice S S Satishchandran issued notice to the Kerala government and asked it to file a statement within a week.
Achuthanandan, a former Chief Minister and now Opposition Leader in the Assembly, submitted that the Thrissur vigilance court had held there was no evidence of involvement of Chandy, the then finance minister in the Karunakaran cabinet. The special judge had not addressed any of the legal issues involved in the case, he stated.
He submitted that it was incumbent upon the court to consider the objections, especially when the investigation agency had submitted a report contrary to an earlier report.
The Palmolein case relates to alleged irregularities in import of about 15,000 tonnes of palmolein from Malaysia during 1991-92, causing a loss of Rs 2.32 crore to the state exchequer.
Former Food and Civil supplies minister T H Mustaffa, former Chief Secretary S Padmakumar and ex-director of Kerala state civil supplies corporation Jiji Thomson are among the accused in the case.