news Thursday, January 08, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | January 8, 2015 | 6.12 pm IST Kerala's former chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan Thursday asked the Oommen Chandy government not to consider the appointment of Jiji Thomson as the next chief secretary as he is an accused in the palm oil case. Thomson has re-joined the state service after a stint as the director of the Sports Authority of India. Achuthanandan said in a statement here that the move by the state government to appoint an official who is facing trial in the case would be against the ruling of the Supreme Court. "The Supreme Court, looking into a petition filed against former chief vigilance commissioner P.J. Thomas, who is also an accused in the palm oil case, had made it clear in 2011 that accused officials should not be even considered for promotion," said Leader of Opposition Achuthanandan. "The state government is already facing allegations of corruption in the conduct of the National Games. Hence, the government should not name Thomson as the chief secretary," he said. Chief Secretary E.K. Bharat Bhushan will retire Jan 31. The import of 15,000 tonnes of palm oil was undertaken in 1992. The case was registered in 1999 when the Communists, led by E.K. Nayanar, were in power. Former chief minister K. Karunakaran, then food minister T.H. Mustafa and bureaucrats P.J. Thomas and Jiji Thompson were charged with causing a loss of Rs.2.32 crore to the state exchequer by importing oil from Malaysia at an enhanced price. Thomas had to step down as the central vigilance commissioner.

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