Former Punjab Police chief’s move to Maharashtra upheldMay 19th, 2008 - 1:51 pm ICT by admin
New Delhi, May 19 (IANS) In a major relief to former Punjab director general of police S.S. Virk, suspended last year by the Punjab government, the Supreme Court has upheld his repatriation to Maharashtra. Granting relief to the police officer, specially sent from Maharashtra to Punjab in 1984 to combat militancy there, a bench of Justice Tarun Chatterjee and J.M. Panchal Friday also allowed the Maharashtra government to consider posting Virk as a director general of police in the state.
The apex court ruling was released late Saturday.
The Punjab government had suspended Virk April 4 last year after Vijay Pal Singh, an accused in a criminal case, said he had bought some land in Virk’s name.
The allegation against the 1970-batch police officer of Maharashtra cadre came soon after he sought his repatriation back to his parent cadre state.
The apex court granted relief to Virk on his appeal against the April 25 order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which had suspended the Chandigarh bench’s order of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT).
On a plea by Virk against his suspension in the wake of allegations levelled against him, the CAT on April 3, 2008 annulled his suspension, while upholding the April 10, 2007 order of the Union government, repatriating him to Maharashtra.
The CAT had also directed the state government to remit all incriminating materials, if any, against Virk to the central government for taking disciplinary action against him.
But on a plea by the state government against the CAT’s order favouring Virk, the Punjab and Haryana High Court suspended the April 25 CAT order.
Meanwhile, Virk had already joined his parent cadre, where he was kept waiting for posting at the level of director general of police.
The apex court bench upheld Virk’s repatriation, saying that he had already joined duties in the parent cadre, following the order issued by the central government.
The bench added that the government’s order April 10, 2007, repatriating Virk to Maharashtra, “will have to be given effect notwithstanding the order of suspension dated April 4, 2007″.
“The declaration made by the tribunal that the central government is competent to take disciplinary action against Virk and directing Punjab to remit the entire matter relating to the disciplinary proceedings initiated against him to the central government should not have been stayed by the high court,” the apex court observed.
The Punjab government’s appeal against CAT’s order favouring Virk is slated to come up for hearing before the Punjab and Haryana High Court May 21. The apex court bench also directed the high court to dispose off the Punjab government appeal against him by May 31.