Jaya questions Umashankar’s suspension, says he is being victimised
4 Aug, 2010 2305hrs IST TNN
CHENNAI: Rallying behind suspended IAS officer C Umashankar, AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa on Wednesday alleged that the dalit officer was being victimised by the DMK government in Tamil Nadu for “exposing and questioning the atrocities” of chief minister M Karunanidhi’s family.
Reacting to the suspension of the 1990 batch IAS officer on the charge that he had entered the civil services using a bogus community certificate, she said it was the responsibility of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to vet the antecedents of every recruit and verify all their certificates. “When this is so, the Karunanidhi government suddenly claiming that Umashankar had entered the service using a forged community certificate gives room for speculation on the reasons behind this,” she said in a statement.
Jayalalithaa said Umashankar was appointed as managing director of Arasu Cable Corporation (ACC), which was launched in 2007 following a rift in Karunanidhi’s family. More than Rs 400 crore was invested in ACC for sophisticated electronic receivers and fibre-optic cable networking. However, once there was a reconciliation between Karunanidhi’s close family members and his grand-nephews, the Maran brothers, he was shunted out of ACC, she charged.
Earlier, in 2006, when Umashankar was MD of the Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (ELCOT), it floated a joint venture company with New Era Technologies Ltd called ELNET, she said and added that ELNET, in turn, launched a subsidiary company called ETL Infrastructure Ltd. “This company purchased 25 acres of land at Pallikaranai near Chennai and constructed an IT park of 17 lakh square feet. It also got IT special economic zone status from the Centre by projecting itself as a subsidiary of the state-owned ELCOT. But later, ETL became a wholly privately-owned company,” the AIADMK chief said. She alleged that the officer was shunted out from ELCOT after he raised questions about the disappearance of it subsidiary from records along with its Rs 700 crore assets.
Umashankar had fallen foul of the Jayalalithaa regime of 1991-96 too. He first came into prominence when he detected irregularities in construction of cremation sheds when he was an official in Madurai district. Later, a CBI investigation was ordered into the scam and the trial is still going on.