The single-judge Bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, comprising Justice K. Lalitha Kumari, has directed the police that no coercive steps be taken against IPS officer A.B. Venkateswara Rao, who is accused of committing irregularities in the procurement of surveillance equipment when he was Additional DGP (intelligence).
The court posted the case for next hearing to January 18 even as Advocate-General S. Sriram pleaded on Thursday that the petitioner’s apprehension (of arrest), which led to the filing of an anticipatory bail plea in the High Court (on January 3), was not bona fide, and his approach to the court based on some “entitlement mindset” was unreasonable.
“It is an extraordinary course for the court to stay, or grant protection, even when no proceedings are initiated. The petitioner has not demonstrated any such circumstances in the present petition,” Mr. Sriram argued, insisting that the case was open for the State to launch prosecution and there was material for it.
Mr. Venkateswara Rao’s counsel maintained that his apprehension was reasonable because of the State’s action in placing him under suspension from May 31, 2019, and issuance of a charge sheet recently.
In his bail petition, Mr. Venkateswara Rao stated that an FIR containing accusations having penal provisions of a sentence beyond seven years was prepared in consultation with “legal minds” and that he could be arrested either on the evening before a holiday, or weekend, and produced before a magistrate / special judge for remand in order to deny legal assistance.
All this to keep him in judicial custody for 48 hours to make out a fresh ground for suspension order, he alleged.