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Suspended ex-intelligence chief moves tribunal

Suspended ex-intelligence chief moves tribunal

Senior IPS officer A B Venkateshwara Rao, who served as state intelligence chief during the Chandrababu Naidu regime between 2014 and 2019, on Thursday moved the Central Administrative Tribunal challenging his suspension by the YSR Congress party government last week.

ABV, who was suspended from his job on Saturday night, was charged with grave misconduct by allegedly indulging in irregularities in the procurement of security equipment from an Israel company during the TDP regime. 

The 1989-batch IPS officer was placed under suspension under Rule 3 (1) of the All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1969 in public interest with immediate effect, pending initiation of disciplinary proceedings. He was asked not to leave the headquarters without permission till the final inquiry was completed against him.

ABV filed a petition in the CAT stating that he was suspended purely for political reasons on frivolous grounds.

He said he had been attached to the state police headquarters without being given any posting since May 31, a day after the formation of YSR Congress government led by Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy.

“I have not been getting my salary since then. I request the Hon’ble Tribunal to strike down the suspension orders immediately, as the charges framed against me are politically motivated,” the officer said.

The government charged Rao with colluding with an Israeli defence equipment manufacturing firm RT Inflatables Pvt Ltd to illegally award critical Intelligence and surveillance contract to his son Chetan Sai Krishna, who is CEO of Akasam Advanced Systems Pvt Ltd.

“This proves a direct co-relation between Rao and a foreign defence manufacturing firm, thereby establishing a direct breach of ethical code of conduct and All India service rules,” the spokesman said, quoting the inquiry report.

The inquiry further revealed that Rao had wilfully disclosed intelligence protocols and procedures of police to the foreign Defence manufacturing firm, which was a direct threat to national security as intelligence protocols are standard throughout the Indian Police Force.

It said the actions of the IPS officer could critically hamper the security situation of the state.

“The use of sub-standard equipment by police force may put them in a dangerous situation. It would give an access to the foreign firm to state secrets and it could lead to potential monopoly over all future procurements of AP police due to access to insider information,” the inquiry report said.

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