Palmolein case posted to January 25

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 12 (PTI) With the SupremeCourt vacating the stay on the proceedings, a vigilance courthere today posted to January 25 the trial in the palmolein oilscam case in which Central Vigilance Commissioner P J Thomasis an accused.

The Public Prosecutor informed the court that thefirst accused late Chief Minister K Karunakaran was no moreand he would file a report in this regard soon.

The Supreme court had yesterday vacated the stay onthe trial of the palmolein case, he said, adding officialcommunication from the apex court was yet to be received.

It was also pointed out that all documents related tothe case were with the Supreme Court, which cleared the decksfor the Kerala court to proceed with the trial in the10-year-old case.

Judge S Jagadeesh posted the case to January 25 beforewhich the records were expected from the apex court, which hasalso treated as "abated" (ended) Karunakaran''s appealchallenging the trial following his death on December 23 last.

The case is about Rs 2.32 crore loss allegedly causedto the exchequer by palmolein oil import in 1991-92 whenKarunarakan was Chief Minister and P J Thomas Food Secretaryand Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation Board member.

Thomas figures as the eighth accused in thechargesheet filed by the Vigilance and Anti-corruption Bureauin 2003.

According to the chargesheet filed under thePrevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code, theaccused caused the exchequer a loss of Rs 2.32 crore byimporting palmolein through a Malaysia based firm atexorbitant rates.

Former Food Minister and Congress leader T H Musthafa,former Chief Secretary S Padmakumar, former Kerala StateCivil Supplies Corporation Chairman Zachariah Mathew, formerKSCSC Managing Director Jiji Thomson and two representativesof the Malaysia based Power and Energy Ltd are the otheraccused in the case.

The Kerala government had moved the apex court onDecember 14 seeking vacation of the stay granted by the latteron August 3, 2007. The stay was granted after Karunakaranfiled the appeal challenging the trial.

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