Thiruvananthapuram: A prisons' department official who had faced a series of disciplinary action has strangely won a national-level honour.
The Hyderabad-based Academy of Prisons and Correctional Administration gives the annual K L N Reddy Award to officials who have worked for more than 15 years in south Indian jails in recognition of their meritorious and commendable services.
The Kerala government had recommended the name of A G Suresh, former superintendent of the Central Jail, Viyyur, for the 2018 edition of the award instituted in the name of the founder director of the Academy.
The RTI documents in possession with Manorama clearly prove that the official was under suspension during the period for which the award was given.
Suresh bagged the award for the year 2018. He was suspended from the post over a phone call controversy, but was endorsed by the previous Left Democratic Front government in Kerala.
The then Jail DGP Rishiraj Singh had struck off the name of a Deputy Inspector General (DIG) who was earlier proposed for the award and recommended the name of Suresh who was under suspension at that time.
Even though the name of S Santosh, who is currently DIG at the State Police Headquarters also figured in the list, he was excluded to recommend the name of Suresh.
Suresh was under suspension for two years from 2017 March to 2019 March. While being the jail superintendent of Cheemeni Open Jail he had conducted “cow puja” which triggered a major controversy resulting in suspension. He had received the cow from a convent.
Suresh was recommended for the 2018 award when the official had not worked even for a single day in that year due to suspension.
The official visited Hyderabad about a month ago to receive the award.
Honoured earlier too
Suresh had also received the medal for meritorious services during the tenure of the previous United Democratic Front government (2011-16) in Kerala. All this happened when there is clear precedent that officials who are tainted or officials involved in dereliction of duty should not be considered for such awards.
Suresh had received two suspensions earlier over different issues. He was placed under suspension from February 2020 to April 2020 for unauthorised absence from duty and from January 2008 to September 2008 for usurping the powers of superintendent without permission, while being the deputy jail superintendent.