Palmolein case posted to February 11

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 25 (PTI) A vigilance courthere today posted to February 11 the trial in the palmoleinoil import case in which Central Vigilance Commissioner P JThomas figures as an accused.

When the case came up, Enquiry Commissioner andSpecial Judge S Jagadees observed that the Supreme court ordervacating the stay on the trial of the case has been received.

The Public Prosecutor produced the death certificateof former Chief Minister K Karunakaran, who was the firstaccused in the case.

However, other documents related to the case were yetto be received by the court, it was stated. Considering allfacts, the court posted the case to February 11.

Meanwhile, Jiji Thomson, a senior IAS officer now ondeputation at the Centre, the fifth accused in the case,filed a discharge petition.

Counsel for Thomson, a former Managing Director ofKerala State Civil Supplies Corporation, argued that the caseagainst him was not maintainable as the prosecution had notobtained prior sanction from the Centre under provisions ofPrevention of Corruption Act.

The case relates to loss of Rs 2.32 core allegedlycaused to the exchequer by import of palmolein in 1991-92through a Malaysia-based firm at exorbitant rates whenKarunarakan was Chief Minister and Thomas the Food Secretaryand a member of Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation Board.

Thomas figures as the eighth accused in thechargesheet filed by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureauin 2003 under the Prevention of Corruption Act and IndianPenal Code.

Former Food Minister and Congress leader T H Musthafa,former Chief Secretary S Padmakumar, former Kerala StateCivil Supplies Corporation Chairman Zachariah Mathew, and tworepresentatives of the Malaysia based Power and Energy Ltd arethe other accused.

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