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Major relief for DGP Virk
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

S.S. VirkNew Delhi, May 16
In a major relief for former Punjab DGP S.S. Virk, the Supreme Court of India today upheld the validity of his repatriation to Maharashtra and said it would be open to Maharashtra to give him a posting as a director-general of police.

Partly allowing the Special Leave Petition filed by Virk against interim orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the apex court observed that the high court was not justified in staying Central Administrative Tribunal, Chandigarh’s declaration that repatriation of the appellant from Punjab to Maharashtra was valid. It also directed the high court to modify its interim order dated April 25, 2008, by clarifying that it would be open to Maharashtra to give posting to the appellant on his repatriation to Maharashtra from Punjab.

The apex court upheld Virk’s repatriation, stating that he had already joined duties in the parent cadre, following the order issued by the Central government. The Supreme Court added that the order of the Central government dated April 10, 2007, repatriating Virk to Maharashtra “will have to be given effect notwithstanding the order of suspension dated April 4, 2007.”

The Punjab government had suspended Virk on April 4, 2007. The Supreme Court further directed the Punjab and Haryana High Court to dispose of the petition filed by the Punjab government in the matter by May 31 and clarified that the Central government was competent to take disciplinary action against the appellant (Virk in this case). It further observed that the high court should not have stayed the relevant declaration made by CAT.

“The declaration made by the Tribunal that the Central government is competent to take disciplinary action against the appellant and directing Punjab to remit the entire matter relating to the disciplinary proceedings initiated against the appellant to the central government should not have been stayed by the High Court,” the apex court observed.

Earlier, while appearing for Virk, his counsel P.S. Patwalia argued that Virk’s maximum period of deputation expired on May 18 last year; hence order of suspension of Virk passed by the Punjab government was anti-dated. The order was passed only to retain administrative control over Virk and put obstacles in the way of his joining at Maharashtra, Patwalia contended. He also submitted before the court that once the maximum period of deputation of the appellant had expired, the Punjab government could not stop him from joining at Maharashtra, and that enquiries against him were mere acts of victimisation.

Virk’s counsels further pleaded for an early disposal of the civil writ petition of the Punjab government before the high court citing that only 14 months were left to Virk’s superannuation. “Who will compensate for loss of time?” asked Virk’s counsels.

The Supreme Court has directed the high court to dispose of Punjab’s petition in the matter on or by May 3, 2008. The petition is listed for final disposal before the high Court on May 21.



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