Probe ordered into illegal appointments in SERIFED

The Kerala High Court has directed the State government to conduct an inquiry into the nominated board of directors of Kerala State Sericulture Co-operative Apex Society Limited (SERIFED) recruiting around 300 persons allegedly in violation of rules.

It also ordered a probe into the government absorbing 271 persons illegally recruited to SERIFED into various government services as well as in the Kerala Khadi and Village Industries Board.

The court asked the three-member committee comprising representatives of SERIFED, Director of Handlooms and Textiles, and the Central Silk Board, formed to prepare a project report on the feasibility of silk weaving as well as the revival of SERIFED, Post-Cocoon Sector and Silk Weaving, to submit the report to the government in four months.

It ordered the State government to take a decision on the revival of SERIFED, Post-Cocoon Sector and Silk Weaving within two month of getting the report. The directives were issued on Friday on a batch of writ petitions on proposals for liquidation and revival of SERIFED. The court noted that Plan funds allocated for the development of sericulture in the State were openly diverted for paying salary to illegally recruited employees.

Inspections by the Department of Finance, Planning Board, and the AG’s Office revealed that the reason for the collapse of SERIFED was illegal appointments.

The court pointed out that the audit reports would establish that the SERIFED Board did not take any step to affiliate taluk-level societies as members of SERIFED, and that the reason for the loss sustained by the Society was the appointment of excess employees and opening of large number of district offices when there was no provision in the bye-laws for opening such offices.

The court observed that by making illegal recruitments, the nominated board of SERIFED had indeed played fraud on the government and the general public, especially the educated unemployed who were waiting for recruitment on merit to public services.

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Printable version | May 22, 2022 7:57:37 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/probe-ordered-into-illegal-appointments-in-serifed/article38315588.ece