Observing that there have been several instances in the past when senior officers had gone to media and that such conduct does not deserve suspension, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) on Tuesday suspended the impugned order placing assistant superintendent of police (ASP) B Naveen Kumar under suspension. It ruled that the suspension of the order would not preclude the authorities from posting him elsewhere in the state.
The CAT gave three weeks to the respondents for filing a reply in the matter, and said that the impugned order will remain suspended until further orders.
Naveen Kumar, the then ASP of Rampachodavaram, had made serious allegations against East Godavari superintendent of police (SP) CM Trivikram Varma before the media. Subsequently, he was placed under suspension on the grounds of gross misconduct.
In his petition to CAT, Naveen Kumar had contended that since he was taking action against ganja smugglers in his jurisdiction, certain higher officers were not happy with him. He also gave names of his superiors alleging that they were interfering with his functioning as he did not oblige them in accommodating ganja smugglers.
Naveen Kumar’s counsel also contended that his suspension is in contravention of rule 3(1) of the All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1969.
The CAT observed that the interference from higher officers was unsolicited. The only allegation that stands against him is that of going to media against higher officers, it said.