EC suspends Odisha CMO official DS Kutey for ‘influencing’ officials on election duty

Bhubaneswar: The Election Commission of India (ECI) today ordered for suspension of Special Secretary to Odisha Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) DS Kutey for unduly interfering in the conduct of elections.

Besides, the IG (CM Security) Ashish Kumar Singh, who is on medical leave since May 4, was insisted to present himself for a detailed medical examination by a special medical board to be duly constituted by the Director of AIIMS in Bhubaneswar, not later than May 30.

Expeditious investigation under due process of law shall continue unhindered in the case registered against Prashant Jagdev (MLA candidate) for damaging EVM in a polling booth, the order read.

Allegedly, Kutey and Singh have been influencing the election machinery in Odisha in an undue manner.

ECI ordered the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO)-Odisha in view of ongoing simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and Legislative Assembly in the State and based on CEO reports and recommendations.

The CEO in his official communication (dated 27.05.2024) had made certain averments indicating undue influence being exercised by DS Kutey and Ashish Singh on officers directly connected with the conduct of elections. This was further corroborated by various other inputs received from the field.

Based on the reports, the Commission directed to uphold fairness in the electoral process.

DS Kutey’s headquarters has been fixed at the Office of Resident Commissioner-Odisha in New Delhi where he shall report by 3:00 PM on May 29, 2024. The CEO shall provide to the Chief Secretary of Odisha a draft of chargesheet to be issued to Kutey.

Accordingly, the Chief Secretary shall arrange to issue chargesheet by a competent authority under relevant service rules by 5:00 PM of May 30, the ECI communiqué mentioned.

Moreover, the CEO shall coordinate to ensure that Director of AIIMS-Bhubaneshwar constitutes special medical board to ascertain illness and treatment being undergone. A report on this should reach the Commission latest by May 31, the ECI emphasised.

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