September 2, 2021 3:24:15 am
In a relief to former Kerala IT secretary M Sivasankar, a government-appointed panel has found that no “evil design, malice or bad faith” could be attributed to him in connection with the data deal with US-based tech firm Sprinklr, which had triggered a widespread controversy in the state putting the previous Pinarayi Vijayan government in a fix.
Indicating that there was no data loss due to the deal, the three-member committee, chaired by former state law secretary K Sasidharan Nair, said there is no evidence, as of now, to prove that the interest of the state was adversely affected due to the engagement of Sprinklr.
However, the report confirmed various procedural lapses committed by the former principal secretary, who is now under suspension in connection with the gold smuggling scam, and said he did not even ensure the basic security measures to be adopted while engaging Sprinklr.
It was the second panel appointed by the Left government to probe the issues of the controversial deal regarding the transfer of the data of Covid patients in the state.
Though a two-member committee, headed by former civil servant M Madhavan Nambiar, had earlier submitted a report with critical remarks against Sivasankar pointing to the alleged procedural irregularities in the deal executed by him, the government had last November appointed the new panel to study the earlier committee’s report and prepare a more comprehensive one.
Rubbishing the panel finding, the Opposition Congress said the report was intended to ”whitewash” Sivasankar and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
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