Accused of forging signatures of 16 women staff of Air India SATs
The State Police Crime Branch (CB) has formally arrested Swapna Suresh, a COFEPOSA detainee and UAE gold smuggling case accused, on the charge of forgery.
A CB official said the agency had arraigned the woman on the charge of forging the signature of 16 women employees of Air India SATs, a ground handling firm partly owned by the Central government, to foist a false case of sexual harassment against an Air India official.
The agency had earlier named former Air India-SATs vice president Binoy Jacob as an accused in the case. The agency said the official, a whistleblower, had earned the wrath of Jacob and Swapna for complaining to the CBI and the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) about ‘irregularities’ in Air India SATs.
The CB interviewed the signatories. They gave sworn statements that the signatures were forged. The women said the accused had falsely taken their names to frame the official.
The alleged crime had occurred during the 2013-15 period, when Swapna was working in the human resources wing of Air India SATS and was officiating as Jacob’s secretary.
In 2015, Swapna accused the Air India official of sexual harassment in workplace. She allegedly submitted the ‘forged’ statements of 17 other women employees to substantiate her charge of inappropriate conduct against the official. After the episode, Swapna left Air India SATS to join the UAE consulate as executive secretary to the Consulate General.
The complainant had moved the High Court to investigate Swapna and others.
The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (VACB) is conducting a parallel inquiry into the ‘backdoor’ appointment of Swapna in the IT Department’s Space Park project.
In August, the police had indicted Swapna for ‘fraudulently’ gaining employment in Space Park by ‘faking’ her academic qualification.
A government inquiry had faulted M. Sivasankar, former Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, for the appointment. Mr. Sivasankar has since refuted the charge.
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