October 3, 2023

Published from Mumbai, Delhi & Bhopal

Sprinklr deal: Chennithala mulls legal action against clean chit to Vijayan

Thiruvananthapuram : Former Kerala Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala on Wednesday slammed the manner in which a two-member committee probing whether proper procedure was followed while hiring Sprinklr Inc for managing Covid-19 data of the government and if the company had ensured data protection. The committee gave a clean chit to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his now suspended former principal secretary M. Sivasankar.

The fresh report of giving a clean chit to the entire deal has been submitted to the government the other day and it says there was nothing wrong and this was contrary to an earlier report submitted on the same aspect.

It was after the first report came, Vijayan appointed another committee.

Speaking to the media here, Chennithala said this is a tailor made report which should not be accepted and a judicial probe be launched into the entire Sprinklr deal which took place soon after the Covid pandemic struck the state.

“This new report contradicts the findings of the first committee consisting of former civil aviation secretary M. Madhavan Nambiar and cyber security expert Gulshan Rai which had found serious lapses into the entire Sprinklr deal. The expertise of the first committee in these fields are exemplary while the second committee formed by Vijayan headed by Sasidharan Nair has no expertise to go into this and it was a report which was meant only to give clean chit to both Vijayan and Sivasankar,” Chennithala said.

“Now that the new report has come, already I am a party to the case which is in the court and I will speak to my counsel and take the necessary steps in this,” added Chennithala.

The Sprinklr issue when it surfaced in 2020 raged in the state after it came out that the data of all Covid-19 suspects has been given for free to the US based marketing and PR company Sprinklr, by the IT department headed by Vijayan and it had no clearance from any government department and the cabinet was also kept in the dark.

The data, according to the Congress, especially pertaining to people is priceless and it is unethical to hand it over to a US company, with no clear cut agreements.

Incidentally at the height of the controversy, the name of Vijayan’s daughter was also dragged in.

Chennithala had approached the Kerala high court and the court in its first observation said that given the pandemic situation, it will not intervene to cancel the agreement and later when things cooled down, asked the state government to seriously look into it and the case still stands.

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