The Kerala government has submitted a report to the Governor recommending the suspension of Information Commissioner K Natarajan, who is facing allegation of intervening in the land gift case involving CPI(M) stalwart VS Achuthanandan.
The recommendation is based on the inquiry conducted by ADGP R Sreelekha following a complaint from a deputy superintendent of police probing the case that Natarajan had allegedly telephoned and asked him to spare Achuthanandan from being made the first accused in the case. The action against Natarajan, a former DIG of police, was referred to Governor HR Bharadwaj on the basis of advice from the Home and Law Departments, official sources said.
Sreelekha had enquired into the complaint of Vigilance DySP VG Kunhan that Natarajan had been allegedly putting pressure on him to spare Achuthanandan in the case.
The case against Achuthanandan pertains to alleged violation of norms while allotting land to TK Soman, an ex-serviceman and his close relative in Kasaragod district when he was Chief Minister heading the previous LDF ministry.
Achuthanandan, the then principal secretary to chief minister Sheela Thomas, personal assistant Suresh and former revenue minister KP Rajendran are among the accused in the case. The matter came to light at the fag-end of the previous LDF rule and a Vigilance probe was ordered by the present UDF government.
An FIR has been registered with Achuthanandan as the first accused in a vigilance court at Kozhikode. As per law, action against information commissioner can be taken only after an enquiry by the Supreme Court. However, the Governor has the power to suspend information commissioners in the event of malpractices. Natarajan was appointed Information Commissioner during Achuthanandan's tenure as chief minister.