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Kerala govt bails out Karunakaran
January 19, 2005 18:29 IST
Kerala's Congress-led United Development Front government on Wednesday decided to drop proceedings in the palmolein case, in which former chief minister and Congress leader K Karunakaran figures as an accused.
The permission of the vigilance court, where the case is pending, will be sought for withdrawal of the proceedings, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said after a Cabinet meeting in Thiruvananthapuram.
The case pertains to alleged irregularities in a deal struck to import palmolein from Malaysia through a private firm, leading to loss to the exchequer in the early 1990s when the UDF ministry headed by Karunakaran was in power.
Chandy said the decision was taken in view of the "futility" of pursuing the case, as the state had in fact made a profit of Rs 9 crore through the deal.
Chandy, who was the finance minister then, asserted the Cabinet was not under the pressure from any quarter.
"Neither Karunakaran nor any of those figuring in the case has either orally or in writing asked the government to drop the proceedings in the case," he said.
Asked what then prompted him to take the decision, he said, "As the person in charge of the Vigilance Department, I am aware of all the facts of the case. I am also aware of all the details as I was finance minister when the deal took place. This has been my persistent position ever since the beginning."
More reports from Kerala