Indian Police Service officer Sridhar Vagal, who had been suspended in 2003, after he was accused in the multi-crore fake stamp paper scam may get reinstated. Sources in the home department said that the government is considering Vagal’s reinstatement in lieu of the recent Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) order setting aside his suspension.
Besides, the other policemen accused in the Telgi scam, like Deputy Commissioner of Police Pradeep Sawant and Inspector Vashist Andhale had been reinstated in 2009 after the special Pune court discharged them due to lack of evidence. The high court has now set aside this order.
The CAT had observed that Vagal’s suspension was in violation of the guidelines prescribed by the Centre following a Supreme Court order. The Centre had made it clear that no officer can be placed under suspension for an indefinite period. And, if so, competent authority must take review and pass a verbal order stating reasons for extension.
The state home department had failed to take this review in case of Vagal following his suspension in 2003.
“His reinstatement is under consideration. Orders have not been issued so far,’’ said an official from the home department. Vagal has been seen making rounds to the state secretariat regularly in the last couple of months.
Shridhar Vagal, an officer of 1976 batch was arrested by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the multi crore-stamp paper scam on November 7, 2003.
Vagal, who was posted as Commissioner (State Intelligence Department) at the time of his arrest, had also served as Joint Commissioner of Police (crime) earlier.
He was the first IPS officer to be arrested in the fake stamp paper scam and charged under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.