Customs not amused by government's excuse to reinstate Sivasankar

M Shivasankar
IAS officer M Sivasankar

Kochi: The Customs Department has took exception to the Kerala government's clarification on reinstating IAS officer M Sivasankar, an accused in the gold and dollar smuggling cases.

The Customs objected to the arguments of the chief secretary-led panel that the former had not handed over information related to the pending cases against Sivasankar.

The Customs had clarified in December itself, its chief commissioner's office gave a reply to the queries sought by the state chief secretary on the status of cases pending against Sivasankar.

The chief secretary was informed through an e-mail that the chargesheet was filed in the gold smuggling case in which Sivasankar is an accused and the trial in the case would begin soon.

It was also informed that a show cause notice was issued to him in the dollar smuggling case and the chargesheet in the case would be filed soon.

Sivasankar resumes charge
After remaining under suspension for 17 months, Sivasankar was back in office at the Secretariat on Friday after he was appointed as the new secretary of the Sports and Youth Affairs Department. He later met Sports Minister V Abdurahiman and other senior officials in the department.

Now that he has been reinstated in service, he will receive the salary dues which have been temporarily under freeze during his suspension period.

He will be working under two ministers — Sports Minister V Abdurahiman and Youth Affairs Minister Saji Cherian.

The chief minister's office had revoked the suspension of the senior bureaucrat on Tuesday. A government order was issued by the chief secretary in this regard after the CM ratified an official recommendation.

Sivasankar had been suspended for a year and five months for his alleged involvement in the high-profile gold smuggling case that rocked the state during the term of the previous Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF government.

Sivasankar is the 29th accused as per the Customs chargesheet.

The suspension of Sivasankar, who has just a year left in service, had been earlier extended twice.

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