SC nixes plea for monitoring probe into palmolein import case

Kerala imported 32,000 tonnes of palmolein and deal caused loss of Rs 2.32 cr to state exchequer.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi | Published:January 4, 2012 2:59 pm

The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea for monitoring the probe into a corruption case related to import of palmolein oil by Kerala government in 1991 when Chief Minister Oommen Chandy was state Finance Minister.

While turning down the plea by former IAS officer Alphonse Kannanthanam for monitoring the probe by Kerala High Court,a Bench headed by Justice Aftab Alam also turned down his prayer to entrust investigation into the case to a group of IPS officers,divesting the State’s vigilance department of it.

Kannanthanam had approached the apex court challenging last year’s October 28 order of the Kerala High Court turning down his plea for monitoring the probe into the case.

The high court had also held that the decision to import palmolein during 1991,when Chandy was the finance minister,was a collective decision of the state Cabinet.

Chandy was the finance minister in the K Karunakaran Cabinet when the state government in November 1991 decided to import 32,000 tonnes of palmolein from Malaysia. The deal is alleged to have caused a loss of Rs 2.32 crore to the state exchequer.

Bureaucrat-turned-politician Kannanthanam had sought monitoring of the investigation of the case by the high court.

Kannanthanam,who is now in the BJP camp,had submitted that like the 2G case,which is being monitored by the Supreme Court,the high court should monitor the Palmolein graft case.

He had also sought constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) consisting a distinguished panel of IPS officers to take over the probe into the case.

Investigation by the present team would not be fruitful as Chandy is the chief minister,the petitioner had stated.

The Kerala government had on October 18 last year informed the high court that it had no objection to the vigilance court decision ordering investigation into the role of Chandy in the case.

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