The STATE government’s proposal to seek the Central Election Commission’s (CEC) approval for senior Indian Police Service officer S.S. Virk’s appointment as new Director General of Police (DGP) may run into rough weather.
The Commission itself had removed Virk from the post of Punjab DGP following allegations of helping then ruling Congress government ahead of the Assembly polls two years ago.
Virk, if appointed as DGP, will be in charge of security arrangements during Lok Sabha polls. And the CEC’s advisory, circulated to all state governments last month, states that no officer against whom the Commission had recommended action in the past, be given any election duty.
Reliable government sources said following the Bombay High Court directive to replace incumbent A.N. Roy before March 5, the state shortlisted Virk from among the senior DGPs.
But since the model code of conduct for polls came into force before this development, the government sought more time from the court to select the DGP and get the CEC’s approval for it.
Virk was repatriated to his home cadre Maharashtra after he locked horns with the Punjab government. He is the senior-most DGP in the state.
The Election Commission (EC) also directs that no officer against whom a criminal case is pending in any court of law be associated with election-related duty.
The alleged criminal status may also land Virk in trouble as the Punjab government has written to its Maharashtra counterpart that he was an accused in a corruption and cheating case and did not report to the investigating officer.
“The EC will face a tricky situation. It will be interesting to see if CEC ignores its previous action against Virk,” said a senior bureaucrat, requesting anonymity.”
Virk accused the Punjab government of political vendetta. “Every tribunal, and even the Supreme Court, had ruled in my favour so far. The criminal charges against me are false,” Virk told Hindustan Times.
On the proposal to appoint him as DGP, Virk said it was the EC’s prerogative to approve it.
“I was removed as Punjab DGP as there were complaints of partiality against me. But in Maharashtra, there are no such complaints against me.”