In a huge legal and political setback to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and UDF government, a Vigilance court turned down its move to wind up the Palmolein import graft case. The case originated in 1992 when late Congress veteran K Karunakaran was the Chief Minister. 
Dismissing the government’s plea, Judge K Haripal of the vigilance court in Thrissur held that withdrawal of the case was against public interest.      Earlier the government decided to withdraw the case, pertaining to alleged corruption and irregularities in the palmolein import deal, holding that it did not cause any loss to the exchequer nor had anyone made any unlawful gain. Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan and V S Sunilkumar MLA have raised certain arguments in the court and the court upheld their contentions.
The case relates to alleged corruption in import of palmolein through a Singapore-based firm when Karunakaran was Chief Minister in 1992.
The court’s decision will lead to the resumption of legal action against the all the accused in the case. The initial move to withdraw the case was made by Chandy during his first stint as Chief Minister in 2005. But it was reversed by the LDF Government headed by V S Achuthanandan that came to power in 2006. The previous LDF government had directed the crime branch to file a case to examine the involvement Oommen Chandy who was the finance minister in Karunakaran’s cabinet.
After UDF came to power in 2011, it again decided to withdraw the case and filed a petition in the court in this regard.
The case also took another political turn with Achuthanandan seeking action against Chandy, who was Finance Minister in 1992 when the Cabinet approved the deal. However, the Kerala High Court and Vigilance Court had dismissed the petition in this regard.
The CPI (M) Kerala State Committee welcomed the court order and held that Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had lost the moral ground to remain in office. Hailing the court order, Opposition Leader V S Achuthanandan said this also marked the victory of prolonged legal battles for justice in the case.      CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and former home minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan demanded that Chandy should resign.