Malayali officers have always been a notable presence among the civil service officers who controlled the country. It dates back to the time of VP Menon, the secretary to the Government of India under Sardar Patel. From cabinet secretaries to foreign secretaries, many Malayalees have distinguished themselves and their state, by rising to the top of the civil service. But the recent news from Kerala is tarnishing the image of the service in the state.
On Wednesday, after his bail plea was denied, M Sivasankar became the first serving IAS officer in Kerala to be taken into custody by central agencies. Till he was suspended over this issue, he was the principal secretary to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. However, this is not the first instance where a civil servant has been suspended or faced criminal charges. Let’s take a look at some of the other infamous cases.
Retired IAS officer T O Sooraj, formerly Secretary of the Public Works Department, was arrested in a corruption case with regard to the Kochi’s Palarivattom flyover construction.
K Mohana Chandran, formerly Principal Secretary of the Energy Department, was the first accused in the SNC-Lavalin case.
In 1997, the Chief Secretary at the time, R Ramchandran Nair was suspended from service due to his involvement in the forgery of a land deal. But the case was dismissed by the Kerala High Court in 2018.
There were a few IPS officers also who have faced criminal charges.
Retired Inspector General of Police K Lakshmana was sentenced to life imprisonment in the case relating to the fake encounter of Arikkad Varghese in Thirunelli forest in February 1970. Late CRPF constable P Ramachandran Nair had committed the act of murder on the command of Lakshmana who was then DSP. He was released due to fragile health conditions.
Ex-DGP Jacob Thomas faced criminal charges for criticizing the state government. He was suspended from service for many years. He is currently retired.
IG Raman Srivastava was caught in a controversy following his alleged involvement in ISRO spy ring case in the 1990s.
DGP R Jayaram Padikkal and Pulikkodan Narayanan were accused of colluding in the torture and death of Rajan a student, at the hands of the police during the Emergency. He was convicted but the conviction was overturned on appeal.