The government order suspending IAS officer M Shivashankar says he made a reference to appointing Swapna Suresh to the post of operations manager/junior consultant project for Space Park. Suresh is one of the key accused in the gold smuggling case in Kerala.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had earlier said that Suresh's appointment to an agency under the IT Department was done through a consultancy.
The enquiry also found that Shivashankar's conduct constitutes a violation of the All India Service Conduct Rules, 1968.
"A two-member committee comprising Chief Secretary and Additional Chief Secretary (Finance) while enquiring into the allegation on contractual appointment of Operations Manager/Junior Consultant in the space Park project under Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Ltd (KSITIL) found that M Sivasankar IAS, former principal secretary, made a reference to appoint a person, who was working at that time as Secretary to the Consul General, UAE, to the post of Operations Manager/Junior Consultant project for Space Park," said the order.
It said that such association and frequent contacts with a foreign consulate official is also a violation of the All India Service Conduct Rules, 1968, and on both these counts departmental action should be initiated. The committee recommended his suspension.
The order stated that the government finds Sivasankar violated several rules of the All India Service (Conduct) Rules, 1968, and the Government of India Miscellaneous Executive Instructions regarding contact of members of All India Services with foreign nationals/missions.
The order said that the government views the matter seriously and Sivasankar is placed under suspension with immediate effect pending completion of disciplinary proceedings.
The Customs department had questioned Shivashankar in connection with the case for about nine hours. The call records of Suresh and another accused, Sarith, showed that they made several calls to Shivashankar.