Former Punjab DGP SS Virk, a 1970-batch IPS officer, was on Wednesday placed under suspension by the Parkash Singh Badal government and launched disciplinary proceedings against him under the provisions of Article 3 (1) of All India Services (Discipline & Appeal) Rules.
An order to this effect was issued by the Punjab Home department on Wednesday afternoon, sources said, adding that a copy of the order has been dispatched to DGP Virk, Punjab DGP NPS Aulakh and Union Ministry of Home Affairs. During his suspension period, Virk will be headquartered at Chandigarh. Virk is a Maharashtra cadre officer presently on deputation to Punjab.
Confirming the decision, a senior government officer said that after Virk's name figured in the controversial land deal in Kharar, the government found that the officer had issued a cheque for the purchase of the said land but did not inform the state government which is required under the Conduct rules. Moreover, police investigations have revealed that black money was given to the seller for the purchase of the land.
Virk, considered close to former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, had come under fire from the Shiromani Akali Dal ahead of the Assembly elections in the state, after the party claimed that Virk's presence on the DGP post would pose a 'serious threat to the conduct of a free and fair poll in the state'.
The SAD leader, Sukhbir Singh Badal had leveled serious allegations against Virk, saying that the then Capt Amarinder government had granted him undue benefits/favours while approving a mega project proposed by Virk and his brother for the setting up of the Chandigarh International Convention Centre, comprising a five-star hotel, a multiplex and a convention centre, in Zirakpur.
Acting on the SAD's complaint, the Election Commission had ordered his removal from the DGP post on January 19 and a day later placed RS Gill, 1973-batch IPS officer, as the DGP of Punjab police.
The EC shifted him in view of substantial concerns raised regarding Virk's credibility and perceived neutrality in the forthcoming Assembly polls in the state.
Virk was a strong contender for the coveted post of Director General of CRPF, but could not be appointed on the post in view of the controversy surrounding him during the elections. Virk was also a candidate for the DG of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), for which the Government of India is yet to take a decision.
The officer has been serving in Punjab for the past 20 years. During the previous government, he also served as the Intelligence chief and the ADGP (Security).