Court quashes Kerala plea to withdraw palmolein case

A vigilance court in Thrissur on Friday turned down a petition by the Kerala government to withdraw the controversial palmolein import corruption case that has hounded the Congress party in the state since the 1990s.

The court observed that withdrawal of the case would be against public interest even as the state is set to appeal against the verdict. The state government, in September last year, decided to withdraw the case and filed a petition in this regard. The petition was filed after overturning the previous Left Democratic Front (LDF) government’s decision to reopen investigation into the case, in 2006.

The case involves alleged corruption during the import of about 15,000 tonnes of palmolein from a Malaysian company in 1991, with late K Karunakaran as Chief Minister of the state. Following a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General that exposed details of the alleged graft, a vigilance inquiry was ordered in 1999 by the E K Nayanar-led LDF government.

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