SC lifts stay on trial in Palmolein oil scam case, CVC in trouble Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) P.J. Thomas's troubles mounted on Tuesday with the Supreme Court lifting the stay on proceedings in the Palmolein oil import scam case. Thomas is an accused in the case along with former Kerala chief minister K. Karunakaran and others. The court order came on a petition by the Kerala government urging it to lift a three-year-old stay on the trial. A bench of Justices Aftab Alam and R.M. Lodha gave the green signal after treating the appeal of Karunakaran as "abated" in view of his death on December 23 last year. Thomas has been facing the heat over his appointment as CVC as the Palmolein case chargesheet accuses him of criminal conspiracy in the scam. Thomas was food and civil supplies secretary when the Karunakaran government decided to import palmolein oil from Malaysia in 1991-92. Karunakaran and six others were charged for allegedly causing a loss of Rs 2.3 crore to the state. Thomas was later added to the list of accused. The 2005 decision of the Kerala government to withdraw charges against all the accused, including Thomas, was one of the grounds relied upon by the Centre while defending the CVC appointment. The Supreme Court had criticised the decision of withdrawing charges against the accused.