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Chavan pushes for Virk extension

With Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan making a case for continuity post 26/11,the Home Ministry may give a three-month extension....

With Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan making a case for continuity post 26/11,the Home Ministry may give a three-month extension to Director General of Police S S Virk. The controversial 1970 batch IPS officer is retiring at the end of this month.

Sources told The Sunday Express that Chavan has written to Home Minister P Chidambaram this week asking for a three-month extension for Virk citing the need for continuity in the on-going revamp of the state police establishment. However,Chidambaram is still to take a decision on the file even though there are indications that Virk may be granted the extension in view of Chavan’s persistence in the matter.

The Home Ministry,which is still waiting for the mandatory vigilance clearance or integrity certificate of the officer from the state Home Department,has forwarded the letter to Union Home Secretary on Friday,but also cited the cases lodged against Virk by the Punjab Government. Virk has been chargesheeted in two cases — relating to land grabbing and disproportionate assets—which have been registered at Kharar police station in Punjab. The next date of hearing is August 1. Virk had been removed from the post of Punjab DGP by the Election Commission during the 2007 Assembly elections.

Virk has approached the state Home Department asking for a two-year fixed tenure as the DGP citing the court ruling in the Prakash Singh case pertaining to police reforms. The department is yet to reply to Virk though a fixed tenure has been granted to Secretary (RAW) and Director,Intelligence Bureau only after amendments to the All India Service Rules.

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Chavan’s case for continuity notwithstanding,Virk could not even lead a team of the Mumbai police to Israel for purchasing security equipment this month as his passport has been confiscated. The team had to be led by Mumbai Police Commissioner D Shivanandan.

Appointed in May 2009 after the court set aside the appointment of then DGP Anami Roy,Virk was not allowed to supervise the General election by the Election Commission. With the Assembly elections around the corner,the Maharashtra Government may once again have to suffer the embarrassment of the DGP being barred from handling law and order during elections if Virk’s extension goes through.

First published on: 26-07-2009 at 03:46 IST
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