KOCHI: M Sivasankar, principal secretary in the sports and youth affairs department, on Wednesday approached the Central Administrative Tribunal challenging the order suspending him from service from July 17, 2020, for violation of service conduct rule in connection with the gold smuggling case. His suspension was revoked after 17 months.
When the gold smuggling case was unearthed, Sivasankar applied for leave on July 7, 2020, and was allowed to go on leave by the government for a period of one year from July 7, 2020, to July 6, 2021. After the petitioner went on leave, the government decided to cancel the leave which was already granted and to place him under suspension from July 17, 2020.
The cancellation of already granted leave and the decision to place him under suspension were purely made on extraneous considerations and for political reasons. The media trial outside was strong enough to compel the government to place an innocent officer under suspension in order to satisfy the vitiated uproar of the media, stated the petitioner.
Sivasankar was arrested in the gold smuggling case and was in jail for 98 days. The petitioner also stated that though he wished to voluntarily retire from service, the government did not accept the request stating that disciplinary proceedings are pending against him. He filed the petition before CAT seeking to quash the cancellation of leave and the order suspending him.