A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Thursday directed the State government to inform the court about the progress of the inquiry being conducted against IAS officer K. Suresh Kumar following his suspension from the service.

The Bench comprising Kurian Joseph and Justice C.T.Ravikumar asked the government pleader to state whether the suspension should be continued if the inquiry was over.

The court made these observations when a petition filed by Mr. Suresh Kumar against the order of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) rejecting his application against the suspension came up for hearing.

Mr. Suresh Kumar, Managing Director, State Cooperative Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development was placed under suspension for criticising the functioning of the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO).

He pointed out that as per Rule 3(1) of the All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1969, if no disciplinary proceedings were initiated or commenced before the expiry of 90 days from the date of suspension, the suspension would be invalid. The suspension order was issued on December 11, 2008, and 90 days expired on March 10, 2009. But suspension of the applicant was extended beyond 90 days without initiating disciplinary proceedings, he said. The government had no power to extend the period of suspensions when no disciplinary proceedings were initiated before the expiry of 90 days. He also pointed out that no reason had been cited for not initiating disciplinary proceeding. He contended that the government had not even obtained the permission of the Central government before extending the suspension period.

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