In a decision fraught with political significance, the Vigilance Court here today allowed a plea from prosecution to further investigate the palmolein import graft case.
The prosecution in a petition filed earlier this month had sought court direction for further probe into the case contending that some more persons were likely to become accused in the case.
The move was seen as an attempt to implicate Opposition Leader Oommen Chandy, who was Finance Minister in the UDF ministry headed by late K Karunakaran, which cleared the palmolein import deal in 1992, which led to the case.
The case related to alleged corruption in the import of palmolein from Malaysia at exorbitant rates, which allegedly caused a loss of Rs 2.32 crore to the exchequer in 1991-92.
The accused in the case included then Food Minister T H Musthafa and former Central Vigilance Commissioner P J Thomas, who was Food secretary during the period.
Mr. Musthafa’s advocate had recently moved a petition before the Court that like the concession given to Mr. Chandy, the then Minister of Finance, his client should also be absolved from the case.
The chargesheet in the case was filed by the Vigilance and Anti-corruption Bureau in 2003.