Sex, lies and the missing files

via www.expressbuzz.com published on December 17, 2008

KOCHI: Kiliroor sex scandal case that blew out of a personal tragedy into an administrative catastrophe has thrown Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan into yet another bowl of hot soup.

The replies given by the General Administration and Home departments to the Right To Information (RTI) applications on the Kiliroor sex scandal case are in stark contrast with the Chief Minister’s statement that the files related to the case have not been suppressed by anyone. Apparently, one of them has to be lying: Either the Chief Minister or the administration officials.

Whoever the fabricator is, the suspended IAS officer K Suresh Kumar, who blew the whistle on the missing files, might be vindicated in the end of this whole drama.

An RTI application filed by Human Rights Defence Forum general secretary D B Binu in October 2007 had asked the General Administration Department for the copies of the complaint given by Sari’s father to the Chief Minister and the letter sent by the Chief Minister to the Centre that demanded an investigation into the issue by an official not below the rank of DIG. However, to the RTI application, M Somashekaran, the public information officer of the Home Department, replied that ‘the government has not received any such complaints and no letter has been sent to the CBI from the Home Department in this regard.’ S Anit, additional secretary and state public information officer, Home Department, also concurred.

In April 2008, the State Information Commission ordered that ‘the departments concerned should conduct a thorough search of the documents to excavate and trace them out’.

The order also specified that the Additional Chief Secretary of the Home Department should conduct an enquiry under Section 18(2) of the RTI Act within 15 days. But, till this day, the applicant has not received any information on the mysterious files.

However, immediately after the revelations by Suresh Kumar that the Chief Minister’s office had suppressed the file, the Chief Minister himself came out in the public stating that he had received the complaints and sent a letter to the Centre in this regard. The contrast in the statements of the Chief Minister and his office has put his credibility in question.

Meanwhile, D B Binu, the RTI applicant, has once again approached the State Information Commission demanding action against the public information officers of the General Administration and Home departments for filing false affidavit.

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