The suspension period of a senior Kerala police officer, who was found to have a close link with a fraudster, has been extended. The suspension period of IG G Lakshman, who was suspended for his relationship with Monson Mavunkal, the prime accused in the antiquities scam case, has been extended by three months. The Intelligence ADGP had informed the government that six more months were required to complete the investigation against Lakshman.
A high-level committee formed to review the action against the officer was of the view that it was not right to reinstate the officer while the investigation is underway. The government accepted the committee's recommendation to extend the suspension for another 90 days.
The committee chaired by Chief Secretary V P Joy has Administrative Reforms Additional Chief Secretary Asha Thomas, Home Additional Chief Secretary Dr V Venu and Public Administration Principal Secretary K R Jyothilal as members.
Lakshman was suspended on November 10, 2021 based on the investigation report of Crime Branch ADGP S Sreejith. The crime branch had found that the IG continued his relationship with Mavunkal despite taking a fraud case against him and tried to subvert the case against him.
The suspension was initially for two months. Later the suspension was extended for another four months. In the next phase, the suspension period was to be extended for six months, but it was extended only for three months. This suspension period ends on August 10.
Lakshman, a 1997 batch IPS officer, was suspended while serving as the IG in charge of social policing and traffic. Lakshman, who was supposed to take over as ADGP in January, has service till 2033.
Investigation against Mavunkal going on: Kerala Crime Branch to HC
The state police's Crime Branch team on Tuesday told the Kerala High Court that the investigation in the cases against Monson Mavunkal were going on and dismissed the allegation that the probe was improper.
The Crime Branch said it filed the statement after the High Court had on July 5 asked it to respond after one of the complainants in the case raised apprehension that there were attempts to "hush up" the case.
"The allegations raised by the petitioner against G Lakshman IPS has been included in the scope of the departmental enquiry going on against him and this has nothing to do with the investigation in the cheating case," the probe team said.
It also said that with regard to the allegations connected with the handing over of Rs 25 lakh to the accused in the presence of former DIG S Surendran by the complainants, there was no evidence for the senior IPS officers' involvement in the cheating case.
"...It is submitted that even though S Surendran and the accused were closely associated, no evidence for the involvement of S Surendran IPS in the cheating case has been received so far during the investigation. The statement of S Surendran has been recorded in connection with the investigation in the case," the Crime Branch said.
However, the probe team said that Lakshman, who is under suspension, had tried to interfere in the investigation in a cheating case against Mavunkal registered at the Pandalam police station. "But he did not succeed in his efforts to do so," the report said.
"With respect to the allegation of handing over of Rs 25,00,000 to the accused by one of the petitioner, Anoop, in the presence of K Sudhakaran, Member of Parliament, and all other allegations against K Sudhakaran are under the purview of investigation," Crime Branch said adding that they were yet to question the state Congress chief.
It also said that Sudhakaran was yet to be questioned.