KSEB row: KSEBOA president fined ₹6.72 lakh

Using official vehicle without authorisation

April 21, 2022 07:53 pm | Updated 09:12 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

The tussle between the management of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) and the pro-Left KSEB Officers' Association (KSEBOA) has taken a new turn with the former charging KSEBOA State president M.G. Suresh Kumar with using the official vehicle of the KSEB without authorisation and ordering him to remit ₹6,72,560.

According to a notice issued by KSEB chairman and managing director B. Ashok, Mr. Suresh Kumar used the vehicle for his personal use while he was serving as Additional Private Secretary to M.M. Mani, who was Electricity Minister in the previous LDF government. The trips covered a total distance of 48,640 km.

The KSEB has directed him to provide an explanation within ten days or face recovery of the amount in twelve installments from his salary. The notice is dated April 19, a day before Electricity Minister K. Krishnankutty was scheduled to hold talks with the KSEBOA and other officers' organisations in connection with the KSEBOA protests.

Earlier, Mr. Suresh Kumar had been suspended in connection with the indefinite protests launched by the KSEBOA against management policies. Although he was reinstated in service, he was transferred to Perinthalmanna, sparking protests from the KSEBOA.

On Wednesday, following conciliatory talks, Mr. Krishnankutty stated that the disputes in the KSEB would be settled amicably within a week.

Mr. Suresh Kumar said he received the notice by WhatsApp on Thursday.

The KSEB is understood to have taken the step on the basis of a complaint filed by a former employee of the company.

Mr. Suresh Kumar said the KSEB had no jurisdiction in this matter as he was on deputation to the personal staff of the then Electricity Minister. The KSEB step was purely aimed at character assassination, he alleged.

The KSEBOA, in an official statement, termed the management’s step “vindictive”. In making a baseless allegation against Mr. Suresh Kumar, the management was targeting the KSEBOA, association’s general secretary B. Harikumar said.

Mr. Mani termed the management's decision uncalled for. Mr. Suresh Kumar had acted as per the directives issued by him and his office, Mr. Mani told reporters. 

The KSEBOA announced on Wednesday that although the Minister-level talks were encouraging, it planned to go ahead with the second phase of its struggle in May, unless the management was ready to resolve the issues amicably.

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