Staff Reporter

KOCHI: The decision of the Kochi Corporation Council to suspend one of its officials on charges of forgery is likely to drag the civic body into a controversy, as the charges have not been proved against the accused.

Mayor Mercy Williams had informed the Council her decision to suspend an official of the Town Planning Department on charges of forgery when the Council met on Tuesday. It was alleged that an official of the Corporation had forged the official seal and signature of the authorities to issue a bogus completion certificate to a builder.

The issue had rocked the Council where councillors demanded that the officials concerned should be suspended and the occupancy certificate issued to the builder cancelled.

The Corporation secretary had directed that memos should be issued to all the officials in the department. The secretary had also directed that a police case be filed for identifying the culprit. An official of the Town Planning Department, who was suspected to be involved in the issue, was shifted from there to the section dealing with applications seeking information under the Right to Information Act. A definite action can be taken against the accused only when the charges are proved against him and a police investigation would be required for the same, said a senior official of the Corporation.

The Council has every right to suspend an erring official but detailed police investigation would be required , the official said.