SC: Virk may be appointed as Maharashtra DGP

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New Delhi, Jun 16 (UNI) The Supreme Court has cleared the decks for Sarbdeep Singh Virk, former DGP of Punjab Police, to be appointed as the DGP of Maharashtra.

Virk, who is credited with playing an important role to control militancy in Punjab, was placed under suspension after a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act for acquring assets disproportionate to his known sources of income was registered by Punjab Vigilance Bureau. He was arrested on September 9, 2007.

Before arresting him, neither the Delhi Police, nor Central government, nor the Maharashtra government were informed by the Punjab Police. Virk was given no opportunity to present his case and was placed under suspension on April 7, 2007 while he was the DGP Punjab.

Virk challenged the order of Punjab and Haryana High Court dated April 25, 2008 staying the operation of the order of the Central Administrative Tribunal, Chandigarh dated April 3 2008.

The Tribunal had held that the repatriation of Virk to Maharashtra by the Central government and his joining parent cadre is valid.

The Tribunal had also quashed the order of suspension holding that final authority to take action after termination/expiry of the period of deputation vested with the Central government and directed Punjab to remit the entire matter regarding disciplinary action against the appellant to the Union government.

Virk, a 1970 batch IPS officer of Maharashtra cadre was sent as DGP to Punjab in 1984 to combat militancy in the state.

According to him, his upright, honest and firm approach towards militants had annoyed many politicians because they were not allowed to interfere.

A bench comprising Justices Tarun Chatterjee and J M Panchal in a judgement noted, ''for the forgoing reasons, the appeal partly succeeds. It is clarified that in view of the repatriation of the appellant to Maharashtra under order dated April 10, 2007, it would be open to Maharashtra to give posting to the appellant as Director General of Police.'' ''On the facts and in the circumstances of the state, this Court is of the opinion that the interim order passed by the High Court deserves to be modified by clarifying that it would be open to Maharashtra to give postion to the appellant on his repatriation,'' they stated.

The Disproportionate Assets case was registered against one Vijay Pal Singh, who during interrogation had alleged that he had purchased land for Virk. A departmental inquiry was initiated by Punjab government against Virk on the basis of Singh's statement.

UNI XC SLD RP UCS1743

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