Police registers case against Swapna for forging degree certificate

The police had seized the degree certificate as part of their investigations into a false sexual harassment case Swapna had filed against an officer at Air India SATS.

Thiruvananthapuram: The police have booked Swapna Suresh, the second accused in the sensational gold smuggling case, for producing a fake degree certificate to secure a contract job at Space Park. A case in this regard has been registered by the Cantonment police here based on a complaint filed by Kerala IT Infrastructure Ltd.

While Swapna is the first accused in this case, the second and the third accused are consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and its intermediary Vision Technologies, respectively.

The case was registered following an exposure by ‘Manorama’.

The Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Technological University in Maharashtra had earlier revealed that the BCom certificate produced by Swapna was forged. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had, on Monday, announced an official-level probe into the forgery. A panel comprising Chief Secretary and Additional Chief Secretary (Finance), among others, would carry out the investigation.

Vijayan, defending the IT Secretary M Sivasankar in the affair, had told the media that, “Only an inquiry can prove whether the IT Secretary is at fault or not. No action can be initiated against anybody based on somebody’s imagination. The time for resorting to disciplinary measures has not yet arrived.”

“Any move needs to be based on facts. Swapna might have contacted several officials in her diplomatic capacity. However, many of those officials would not have reported the matter to their higher authorities as none of them would have imagined her real intentions,” he added.

Contract with PwC to be terminated

The Kerala State IT Infrastructure Ltd (KSITIL) has decided to terminate the Space Park contract with the consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), following Swapna's arrest.

The KSITIL, which is in charge of the project, has issued a notice to the firm, citing contract violation. The notice also said that the compensation amount will have to be paid back to the government.

Swapna had joined the IT department as the PwC consultant via third-party agency Vision Technology. She was dismissed after her name cropped up in the case.

Swapna was arrested from Bengaluru by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday. The Customs had seized 30kg of gold from a diplomatic baggage addressed to the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram on July 5.

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