THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The government has decided to extend the suspension period of M Sivasankar, senior IAS officer and former principal secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The suspension was extended as Sivasankar is involved in a criminal case relating to gold smuggling through diplomatic route.
The decision on extension of suspension has been conveyed to the Centre. Sivasankar was suspended for violating the All India Service (Conduct) rules. The IAS officer allegedly had links with the gold smuggling accused and was accused of facilitating the appointment of Swapna Suresh, an accused in the case, in a government enterprise without having the required qualifications.
Sivasankar was suspended in July 16 last year on the recommendations of a committee comprising of the Chief Secretary and Additional Chief Secretary (Finance). The IAS officer’s service period ends in January, 2023.
As per rules, the government can suspend an IAS officer if he or she faces inquiry for a criminal case or is arraigned as an accused. For such cases, the suspension period is one year. The state government can extended the suspension after that period if needed and inform the Centre about it.
If not extended, the suspension would stand revoked. As per rules an IAS officer can be placed under suspension for not more than two years, government sources said.