Kerala

Former IAS official among five sentenced for graft

The special Vigilance court here on Saturday found five persons, including a retired IAS official, guilty of corruption in connection with the selection of an unrecognised training centre for conducting a training programme for Scheduled Caste (SC) students 20 years ago.

Inquiry Commissioner and Special Judge (Vigilance) G. Gopakumar sentenced former officials of the Scheduled Caste Development Department (SCDD), including former director A.J. Rajan, former finance officer N. Sreekumar, former district development officer Sathyadevan and former SC development officer C. Surendran, as well as the proprietor of the private institution Sukumaran to two years of simple imprisonment. While the former SCDD officials were fined ₹1.10 lakh each, a fine of ₹90,000 was imposed on Sukumaran.

They were found guilty under various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, including Section 13(2) (punishment for public servant who commits criminal misconduct), and Sections 120B (punishment for criminal conspiracy) and 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code

According to the prosecution, led by Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau (VACB) public prosecutor Unnikrishnan S. Cherunniyoor, the former officials had conspired to select the private institute, Poorna School of Information Technology at Varkala, for conducting a hardware course for 31 SC students despite lacking the mandatory accreditation of the LBS Centre for Science and Technology in 2002-03. A sum of ₹2,32,500 was also sanctioned for the institute in advance.

The selection of the institution was found to be contrary to the rules and guidelines that insisted that the institution entrusted with the training programme must be an approved one of the State or Central government. The funds for the course had been allotted to the SCDD under the Special Central Assistance to Special Component Plan (SCA to SCP) by the Centre.

The issue came to light when the candidates realised their course certificate was not approved by the Kerala Public Service Commission since the institution was unaccredited. Thereby, the amount spent for the training programme had caused loss to the government.

The case was investigated by the present District Police Chief (Kollam Rural) K.B. Ravi and the chargesheet submitted by the present VACB DySP (Headquarters) C. Vinod. Former Superintendent of Police of the VACB, Poojappura special unit-I, Sukesan had registered the case.


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Printable version | Jul 30, 2022 11:39:55 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/former-ias-official-among-five-sentenced-for-graft/article65704244.ece