Palmolein case: Karunakaran granted bail

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM April 9. The former Chief Minister, K. Karunakaran, the former Civil Supplies Minister, T.H. Musthafa, and three other accused in the palmolein import case, appeared before the Vigilance Special Judge and were granted bail today.

The three others were the former State Civil Supplies Corporation Managing Director, Jiji Thomson, and the directors of the Chennai-based Mala Trading Corporation, V. Sadasivan and Sivaramakrishnan.

Out of the total of eight accused in the sensational case, three had appeared in the court on April 2 in response to summons and had been granted bail. The court had then issued an order directing the remaining accused to appear today.

K. J.Joseph, under secretary, Home Department, and K. Sivankutty Nair, section officer, Health Department, stood as sureties for Mr. Karunakaran. The judge has adjourned the case for May 6.

The prosecution case is that as part of a conspiracy, the accused persons caused a loss of Rs.2.32 crores to the exchequer through the import of palmolein through private firms during 1991-92 when Mr. Karunakaran was the Chief Minister.