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For speaking on Azam Khan's buffalo theft case, IPS officer gets notice; CAT asks why?
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), Lucknow bench has issued a notice to the Government of India to present a detailed reply within 4 weeks on IPS Officer Amitabh Thakur's petition challenging the complete prohibition on the members of All India Services to criticize any recent policies or acts of the State government. The next of hearing is fixed on 28 July.

The petition said that rule 7 of the All India Services Conduct Rules 1968 makes a blanket prohibition on any statement of fact or opinion having adverse criticism of any current or recent policy or action of the Central Government or a State Government made by IAS, IPS and IFS officers.

The petition reasons that such a blanket ban is too wide and vague to be legally sustainable, to the extent of being prone to misuse, as happened recently when Thakur was issued show cause for his statement regarding minister Azam Khan's buffalo theft.

It says that the right to freedom of speech and expression can be curtailed only through the restrictions imposed under Article 19 (2) of the Constitution but the restrictions under Rule 7 are completely unrelated with these grounds, other than being vague and too wide and hence they need to be quashed.

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