Corruption accused promoted to Kerala Chief Secretary

A public interest petition was filed in the high court by Sudhakaran of Erumeli in Kottayam district, urging the Court to prevent Kerala's United Democratic Front's (UDF) plan to promote Additional Chief Secretary Jiji Thomson to the post of Chief Secretary, as he is facing trial in the palmolein import corruption case. Earlier the high court had rejected the IAS officer's plea to quash the proceedings against him in the case. The court also dismissed the state government's petition challenging a vigilance court order rejecting its plea to withdraw the two-decade-old case. Jiji was the MD of the Kerala Civil Supplies Corporation when the then government imported 15,000 tonnes of palm oil from a Malaysian firm allegedly in violation of the purchase rules. It caused a loss of Rs.23 million to the state exchequer, according to the prosecution. The leader of the opposition and former chief minister V S Achuthanandan has also opposed the government's move to appoint Jiji as Chief Secretary on similar grounds.