The Kerala High Court on Tuesday upheld the order of Thrissur Vigilance Court giving a clean chit to Oommen Chandy in the Palmolein case.
The court passed the order in a plea filed by Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan and BJP leader Alphons Kannanthanam challenging the Vigilance court order acquitting Chandy. Appearing for the state, Advocate General K P Dandapani and Government Pleader Roshan D Alexander submitted that both petitioners have no locus standi to raise objections to the report filed by Vigilance.
The petitioners were trying to harass Chandy by raising unfounded objections, the AG submitted.
The court said that the petitioners, because of being political activists, do not have any special right to question the validity of the report filed by investigation agency.
“The petitioners like any other citizen can question the acceptability of the report, but cannot ask the court to examine materials tendered in the case. The pleas by them no way indicate that Chandy did any illegal act,” it observed. There was some force in the submission of the AG that the objections raised against the report by the petitioners were only to drag the proceedings and gain political advantage by keeping alive the allegations against Chandy, who is the Chief Minister, in the limelight before the public, it said.
It added that the assertions of some other accused, in their petitions seeking discharge, that the then Finance Minister was also aware of the transaction cannot be viewed or given any credence to make him a co-accused.
“Three reports were filed by the agency and in all of them, particularly in two reports, the agency found no material to link Chandy with the case and the petitioners have not till date come forward to file a complaint alleging corruption against Chandy, though the report against other accused, excluding Chandy, was filed in 2004,” it said.