Kochi (Kerala) [India], December 11 (ANI): M Sivasankar, former principal secretary of the Kerala Chief Minister's Office, took part in meetings held to discuss the recruitment of IT staff at the High Court on a contract basis and had also suggested members to the selection committee, a report submitted before the Kerala High Court on Friday said.
Justice A Muhamed Mustaque, Chairman of the Computerisation Committee of the High Court, submitted the fact-finding report in the matter to the Chief Justice today.
"It was based on the government suggestions that the mode of appointment was made contractual. A meeting was convened on February 22, 2018, by then Chief Justice Antony Dominic to discuss the various issues related to the IT infrastructure of the High Court and subordinate courts. Sivasankar, then secretary, IT department (Sivasankar) was also present. One of the items on the agenda was the creation of permanent IT cadre in the High Court and subordinate courts," the report said.
It said additional chief secretary (Home) and secretary (IT department), in the meeting, stated that appointing permanent cadre was not possible in the changing scenario in the field of information technology.
"Fresh people with the requisite knowledge in changing technology were required for undertaking various projects, they said. Accordingly, it was decided that appointments could be made on a contract basis with a five-year term," the report said.
"Based on this, the government decided to create five high-level IT posts for the High Court. This was communicated to the High Court on May 16, 2018. On July 19, 2018, the High Court Registrar-General requested the principal secretary, IT department, to furnish the job profile and qualifications for appointment of high-level IT officers," it added.
The report mentioned that in a letter sent on August 13, 2018, furnishing the details of qualifications of the high-level team, the government had stated, "The National Informatics Centre (NIC) is incapable to provide any support to IT infrastructure."
It mentioned that a meeting of the computerisation committee was convened on March 14, 2019, which was also attended by Sivasankar. On his suggestion, Hrishikesh R Nair, CEO, Government IT Parks, Kerala, and Dr Jayasankar Prasad, director, ICFOSS, were included in the selection committee, which also included Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan.
Sivasankar is currently in prison in connection with a money laundering case related to the smuggling of gold into the state through diplomatic channels. The matter, which is currently being probed by the Enforcement Directorate, National Investigation Agency and the Customs Department. (ANI)