Palmolein oil import scam: The case against PJ Thomas
New Delhi: It is the Palmolein oil import scam that took place in 1991-92 that has led to the downfall of the former CVC P J Thomas.
The scam took place in Kerala during K Karunakaran's fourth term as Chief Minister while the UDF was in power in the state.
P J Thomas was the Food Secretary and a member of the Board of the Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation.
The Kerala government had decided to import palm oil from a Malaysian company in Singapore - Power and Energy Ltd. The decision was to import 15,000 tonnes of palm oil and the price fixed for the import was higher than the international price approved by the secretary. While the international price of palm oil was $392.25 per ton, Kerala government fixed the price of import at $405 per ton.
According to reports, almost 30,000 tonnes of Palmolein had been imported despite there being no request from either Supplyco or the Food Department for the import of the edible oil.
Significantly, the import order was signed by P J Thomas. The deal cost a loss of more than 2 cores to the exchequer.
The opposition raised a stink about the deal and a vigilance case was filed against Karunakaran and seven other including Thomas.
PJ Thomas, figures as the eighth accused in the chargesheet, filed by the Vigilance and Anti-corruption Bureau.
While Thomas got bail in 2003, proceedings against K Karunakaran were closed after his death in December 2010.