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Rules allow defending my character, honour: AB Venkateswara Rao
- The suspended IPS officer replies to the show cause notice issued by the state govt for speaking to media on Pegasus issue without seeking prior permission from the govt
- Points out Rule 6 of AIS Rules 1968 permits member of the service to vindicate his private character or an act done by them in their private capacity
- Says he has to defend himself and his family in the wake of allegations by RS member Vijayasai, some other persons and media regarding spyware
Vijayawada: Former Intelligence chief AB Venkateswara Rao replied to the show cause notice issued by state government seeking his explanation for conducting a media conference in March on Pegasus issue without the state government's permission.
In his reply letter on Wednesday, the suspended IPS officer said that as per the Rule 6 of AIS Rules 1968, previous sanction of the government is not be required when the member of the service, in the bona fide discharge of his duties or otherwise, publishes a book or contributes to or participates in a public media. He said as per Rule 17, "Nothing in this rule shall be deemed to prohibit a member of the service from vindicating his private character or an act done by him in his private capacity. Provided that he shall submit a report to the government regarding such actions."
Venkateswara Rao said that he addressed the media on March 21 on Pegasus spyware. "Pegasus is either an official issue or a private issue. It cannot be both at the same time. However as can be gleaned from the allegations and media reports enclosed, the issue of Pegasus was connected to me and my tenure as head of Intelligence department, AP and allegations derogatory to my private character and the character of my family members were made. The issue raised in public domain by several persons as well as print and electronic media were regarding the alleged purchase of Pegasus software, more particularly, that it was purchased by the Government of AP through me as ADG/DG intelligence," he said.
The official said hence it was imperative that he had to clarify the various doubts raised and to assert that there was no wrong doing on the part of the government and more specifically, on his part while discharging his duties during the relevant period of time. He said that he explained the above strictly complying with Rule 6. In addition, the IPS officer said there were allegations against his family members by Rajya Sabha member V Vijaya Sai Reddy. "As such, I would have been failing in my duty as a conscientious citizen and a responsible head of family if I had not used my rights under Rule 17 and defended myself, my honour, my dignity and y family's reputation from irresponsible, deliberate, malicious, false rhetoric propaganda created by individuals and certain channels of media with vested interests that caused irreparable damage to myself and along with my immediate family members," he said.
He said Rule 6 empowers members of All India Services to defend their bona fide discharge of duties, Rule 17 empowers to defend themselves from attacks on their private lives and private character.