SC asks ABV to challenge suspension orders!

The suspension of senior IPS officer and former Andhra Pradesh intelligence chief A B Venkateshwara Rao by the Jagan Mohan Reddy government seems to be an unending saga.

Venkateshwara Rao challenged in Supreme Court the state government’s decision to extend his suspension by six more months, pending an ACB inquiry into allegations of irregularities during his tenure as intelligence chief of the state.

A division bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice A M Khanvilkar and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari asked the state government to produce the service rules which sought to extend suspension of the IPS officer by more than one year.

The counsel for the state government told the Supreme Court that the suspension of Venkateshwara Rao was extended by six more months as per section 1-C of Rule 3 in All India Service Rules. It said the decision was taken following the recommendations of the review committee.

The counsel for Venkateshwara Rao, however, argued that as per section 1-B of Rule 3, the suspension of an IPS officer cannot be for more than one year. Moreover, no charge sheet was filed against him, showing that he had indulged in corruption.

The Supreme Court bench questioned the counsel for Venkateshwara Rao as to why he had not challenged the recommendations of the review committee to extend the suspension.

Admitting the same, the counsel for the IPS officer sought three days’ time to challenge the review committee directions.

Accordingly, the supreme court gave three days’ time to Venkateshwara Rao to challenge the extension of his suspension. It also asked the state government to file a counter to his petition three days after he files the same. The case was deferred to March 9.

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