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Trial in Palmolein Case Commences

Published: 30th March 2016 05:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th March 2016 05:24 AM   |  A+A-

THRISSUR: The much-talked about trial in the Palmolein import scam commenced at the Vigilance Court here on Tuesday. Vigilance Enquiry Commissioner and Special Judge S S Vassan set the date for further hearing on May 30, as second accused T H Musthafa, along with accused six, seven and eight were absent on the day.

Taking exception to the absence of the accused, the court remarked whether a warrant was necessary for bringing in the former Civil Supplies Minister. Counsel for Musthafa cited health issues. When counsel for the accused argued, based on earlier High Court judgment, that the CAG report need not be taken as a gospel rule, the court questioned why the case still remained. The CAG report had found discrepancies to the tune of crores in the import of Palmolein. After hearing the arguments by the lawyers for the accused that the career of the bureaucrat was affected by the scam allegations, the court reminded the Chief Secretary of his ‘predecessors’ M K K Nair and Ramachandran Nair, both of who were prosecuted on the basis of CAG reports. Speaking to mediapersons after the hearing, Chief Secretary Jiji Thomson said that he would submit all his arguments before the Supreme Court.

The incident had occurred in 1991-92 and dealt with the irregularities in the import of palmolein at 405 dollars per tonne, while the price in the international market amounted to 392.25 dollars/tonne. A loss of 2.32 crore to the state exchequer was estimated.

The then Chief Minister K Karunakaran, Civil Supplies Minister T H Musthafa, Chief Secretary S Padmakumar, Additional Chief Secretary Zachariah Mathew and Civil Supplies MD Jiji Thomson were marked as respondents in the case. The scam was reported around 1991-92 and dealt with the irregularities in the import of palmolein at 405 dollars per tonne, while the price in the international market amounted to 392.25 dollars/tonne. A loss of Rs 2.32 crore to the state exchequer was estimated. Then Chief Minister K Karunakaran, Civil Supplies Minister T H Musthafa, Chief Secretary S Padmakumar, Additional Chief Secretary Zachariah Mathew and Civil Supplies MD Jiji Thomson were marked as respondents in the case.



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