Will Sivasankar be suspended like Jacob Thomas?

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After Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday made it clear that his former Principal Secretary and top IAS official M. Sivasankar did not take official permission to pen his autobiography that stirred up a controversy, all eyes are now the CM, whether he will suspend Sivasankar like he did when the then serving top IPS official Jacob Thomas wrote a book.

Thomas was suspended from service in April 2018 by the then chief secretary Paul Antony on the instructions of Vijayan for publishing his autobiography without getting the approval of the government.

Incidentally, early this month, on the first anniversary of Sivasankar getting out of jail on bail in the infamous gold smuggling case, the news came that he is all set to release his autobiography in Malayalam.

Published by DC Books and titled ‘Aswadhmavu Verum Oru Annaa’ it tells the tale of his life in jail and other things. It also said that he had done no favours for his then friend and prime accused in the gold smuggling case, Swapna Suresh.

After the revelations, Swapna said Sivasankar for close to three years was her friend, philosopher and guide, and all that she knows, he also knows.

She further said it was because of his help that she got the job and he was also instrumental in helping her to flee from Bengaluru at the peak of Covid protocols that was prevailing in 2020 July.

After Sivasankar’s book release, the Congress-led opposition raised the question of permission to Vijayan.

Sivasankar, who recently turned 59, was in jail for 98 days after his arrest in October 2020 and his suspension was revoked on January 5. He has been posted as principal secretary Sports and Youth Affairs.

The smuggling case came to light on July 5, 2020, when the Customs arrested Sarith, a former employee of the UAE Consulate here, for allegedly smuggling gold in a diplomatic baggage destined for the Consulate.

Swapna Suresh, who previously worked in the UAE Consulate, and her associate Sandip Nair were arrested in the case by the NIA from Bengaluru a few days later.

Trouble started for Sivasankar after Swapna’s arrest and then came out tales of the relation with Sivasankar. Vijayan, unable to stand the massive, onslaught had suspended Sivasankar from the service.

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