The Kerala High Court officially said there was no interference from any quarters in the appointment of five IT professionals in the court.
In a press release issued on Tuesday, Sophy Thomas, Registrar General, said the news reports that appeared in newspapers in this regard, both in Malayalam and in English “are not the official versions of the High Court”.
The government had at no time expressed any incapacity on the part of the National Informatics Centre (NIC) and there was no move to avoid NIC from the development of the IT infrastructure of the High Court. As per the specific proposal of the High Court, the technical team appointed would have to work along with the NIC, the release added.
The release was issued in the backdrop of newspaper reports alleging that former IT Secretary and Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister M. Sivasankar, an accused in the money laundering case registered in connection with the gold smuggling case, had interfered in the the appointment of the High Court IT professionals.
No inquiry was ordered by the Chief Justice into the recruitment process, the press release clarified.
It was agreed to create the posts of IT professionals for the High Court e-court project on contract basis with five-year term at a joint meeting of four judges of the High Court computerisation committee, Law Secretary, IT Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary(Home), Principal secretary(Finance), the State Informatics Officer of the National Informatics Centre(NIC), and officials of the High Court registry. It was held on February 22, 2018, it said.
In a note given by the IT department, it was observed that the NIC could not be expected to provide manpower to develop the periphery modules for the CIS. “There was nothing expressed by the government as to the NIC being incapable of supporting the development in the High Court,” the release added.
In response, the High Court Registrar General in October 16, 2018, approved the scheme prepared and forwarded by the IT department and proposed five posts especially with the need to work alongside the NIC. The government on January14, 2019, had accorded administrative sanction for the proposal of the High Court.
A three-member sub committees of judges had selected CEO, IT Parks, Kerala, Director, ICFOSS( International Centre for Free and Open Source Software), as members of the interview board from a panel of seven IT experts forwarded by the IT Secretary. A High Court Judge was also part of the board. The committee of judges resolved that one among the committee members would oversee the selection process and chair the interview board as suggested by the subcommittee. The interview was chaired by a judge and appointments were made, according to the release.