THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The suspension order of M Sivasankar, former IT secretary and Principal Secretary to the chief minister, has revealed that he had played a pivotal role in appointing Swapna Suresh as Operations Manager/Junior Consultant in the Space Park project under Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Ltd (KSITIL).He was suspended from service pending a departmental inquiry following his links with the accused in the high-profile gold smuggling case in Thiruvananthapuram.
The CPM-led LDF Government and the party have been maintaining that it was PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) that vetted the documents of Swapna and suggested her for the post under the IT Department. The order issued by the state government said that a two-member committee comprising the Chief Secretary and the Additional Chief Secretary (Finance), while inquiring into the allegation on the contractual appointment of Swapna, found that Sivasankar made a reference to appoint Swapna, who was working at that time as Secretary to the Consul General, the UAE, to the post in Space Park.
In the inquiry, among other things, the committee observed that prima facie, Sivasankar’s conduct in this regard constitutes a violation of the All India Service Conduct Rules, 1968, and such association and frequent contacts with a foreign consulate official is also a violation of the rules and on both these counts, departmental action should be initiated. Given the wider ramifications of the case, the committee recommended to place him under suspension pending completion of disciplinary proceedings.
The committee also found that he violated Rule 3(2) and 3(2B) iii, v, vii, viii & x of All India Service (Conduct) Rules, 1968 and Government of India Miscellaneous Executive Instructions regarding Contact of Members of All India Services with foreign national/missions.