HC strikes off contempt plea of ABV against CS

Officer claimed his salary was not paid during his suspension period
Andhra Pradesh High Court. (File Photo)
Andhra Pradesh High Court. (File Photo)

VIJAYAWADA: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Tuesday struck off contempt of court petition against Chief Secretary Sameer Sharma, filed by senior IPS officer AB Venkateswara Rao, accusing the former over non-payment of Rao’s salary for the period of his suspension as directed by the High Court.

Venkateswara Rao filed the contempt petition, claiming that the act was intentional, holding the chief secretary responsible for it. Hearing the petition, a division bench comprising Justice DVSS Somayajulu and Justice S Subba Reddy said that at the current juncture, the Chief Secretary’s actions can not be described as intentional as Rao’s hearing is still under process.

Earlier during the case hearing, petitioner counsel B Adinarayana Rao said the High Court has struck off the petitioner's suspension and ordered the government to pay his salary for the period he was suspended.
“Though Venkateswara Rao was eligible for the pay during his suspension, the government has not paid him, which is a willful violation of the court orders,” added the petitioner’s counsel.

Sameer Sharma’s advocate V Maheswar Reddy said, “Hearing of the case against AB Venkateswara Rao over security equipment procurement is still under progress. Supreme Court has not dismissed the petition filed by the government challenging the High Court verdict but only pointed out that the suspension of an official can not be more than two years. As per the apex court’s direction, the government has reinstated Rao into service, but demanding the salary for the suspended period as a right can not be allowed.” “It depends on the discretion of the government whether to pay salary to an employee under investigation,” added Maheshwar.

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