Andhra govt reinstates AB Venkateswara Rao IPS after SC order

In 2020, the Andhra government placed Venkateswara Rao under suspension on the charges of irregularities in the process of procurement of Aerostat and UAV equipment for state police.
A file photo of AB Venkateswara Rao
A file photo of AB Venkateswara Rao
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The Andhra Pradesh government has finally reinstated Director General of Police(DGP)-ranked IPS officer AB Venkateswara Rao into service, close to a month after the Supreme Court passed an order in his favour. On April 22, the Supreme Court struck down a special leave petition (SLP) of the government and directed it to treat Venkateswara Rao as in service on and from February 8, 2022, as the suspension order, issued on February 8, 2020, cannot and could not have continued after February 7, 2022. Following this, the officer reported to the government on April 29 and sought a posting.

Chief Secretary Sameer Sharma issued a secret government order (GO) on May 16, revoking Venkateswara Rao's suspension in accordance with the Supreme Court order. The reinstatement comes into effect from February 8, 2022, and the intervening period, till the officer reported for duty, would be treated as compulsory wait'. The 1989-batch IPS officer has been asked to report to the General Administration Department for posting.

On February 8, 2020, the Jagan Mohan Reddy government placed Venkateswara Rao — who worked as the Chief of Intelligence during the previous Chandrababu Naidu regime — under suspension on the charges of irregularities in the process of procurement of Aerostat and UAV equipment for Andhra Pradesh police under the scheme of Modernisation of Police Force. Subsequently, the State Anti-Corruption Bureau registered a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act against the officer, as a result of which his suspension period was extended on technical grounds.

In May 2020, the Andhra Pradesh High Court dismissed the suspension order but the State government filed a SLP in the apex court challenging the HC judgment. With the Supreme Court striking down the SLP, the government has been left with no choice but to reinstate the DG-rank officer.

On Wednesday, May 18, the Chief Secretary issued an order posting 1992-batch IPS officer Harish Kumar Gupta as the new Principal Secretary (Home). The incumbent Principal Secretary (Home) Kumar Vishwajeet of 1994-batch has been transferred as Additional Director General of Railway Police in Gupta's place.

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