In a major development, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has ordered the suspension of Special Secretary to Odisha Chief Minister's Office (CMO) DS Kutey in a bid to ‘curb undue influence on the election machinery and maintaining the level playing field and fairness in the electoral process’. The ECI has also directed a detailed medical examination of Ashish Kumar Singh, IG (CM Security), who has been on medical leave since May 4, 2024. In a letter issued on Tuesday, ECI stated that the CEO Odisha has made certain averments indicating undue being exercised by the aforementioned officers directly connected with the conduct of election work. This was further corroborated by various other inputs received from the field from time to time. The ECI letter read - "DS. Kutey, Special Secretary to CM be placed under suspension under relevant service rules for unduly interfering in conduct of election. His headquarter is fixed at the Office of Resident Commissioner Odisha, New Delhi where he shall report by 3:00 pm on 29th May 2024. Chief Electoral Officer Odisha shall provide to the Chief Secretary of Odisha draft of charge sheet to be issued to Shri D. S. Kutey. Chief Secretary of Odisha shall arrange to issue charge sheet by competent authority under relevant service rules, not later than by 5:00 pm of 30th May 2024.” Regarding Ashish Kumar Singh, the ECI order stated " The IG (CM Security), being on medical leave since 4th May 2024, be present himself for detailed medical examination by a special medical board constituted by Director AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, not later than 30th May 2024. Chief Electoral Officer shall coordinate to ensure that Director AIIMS Bhubaneswar constitutes special medical board to ascertain illness and treatment being undergone. Report on this shall reach the Commission latest by 31' May 2024." The ECI has also mentioned that expeditious investigation under due process of law shall continue unhindered in the case registered against MLA candidate Prashant Jagdev for damaging EVM in a polling booth.