No immediate relief to suspended IPS officer in CAT

A.B. Venkateswara Rao

A.B. Venkateswara Rao  

Petition to be heard again on February 24

The Central Administrative Tribunal-Hyderabad on Friday directed Andhra Pradesh government to file counter affidavit in the petition filed by senior IPS officer A.B. Venkateswara Rao who challenged his suspension.

Hearing the petition filed by Mr. Rao, CAT member B.V. Sudhakar declined to stay the suspension order. Issues like whether a single member of the CAT would hear the petition -- to issue stay order on the suspension -- would be decided on February 24, the CAT said.

Senior counsel G. Vidyasagar, appearing for the suspended police officer, contended that the State government has no power to directly suspend an All India Service officer under service rule no. 3. He told the tribunal that the State government targeted the police officer. From May 31, 2019, the government did not release even his salary, he said.

Suddenly issuing the suspension order without initiating any preliminary inquiry and accusing him of role in procurement of security equipments suggests that the government acted in a bias manner, the senior lawyer argued.

Stating that there is a procedure to initiate action against All India Service officers, the lawyer said the State government is required to send a report on the allegations against an officer to the Centre.

Only if the Central government is satisfied with the evidence over the allegations, a disciplinary action can be initiated, he contended. The action taken against Mr. Rao contravened the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court in 1972, he said.

Former Advocate General and senior counsel D. Prakash Reddy, appearing for AP government, said the State government has power to initiate disciplinary action against officer as per a recent verdict of the apex court.

He contended that stay cannot be granted in the case. When the CAT member sought to know if the Centre has been consulted before suspending the officer, the lawyer said all the details will be presented in the counter affidavit.

Referring to Mr. Rao’s submission in the petition that he had signed the files relating to procurement of equipment as part of administrative work, the lawyer told the tribunal that the suspended police officer was not a small employee to casually clear files.

Only after ascertaining facts in preliminary inquiries, the suspension order was issued, he said.

The petition would be heard again on February 24.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 11:15:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/no-immediate-relief-to-suspended-ips-officer-in-cat/article30827384.ece

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