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Saturday, Sep 21, 2019

IAS officer Mopalwar reinstated after Maharashtra panel clears him of all charges

Mopalwar is likely to continue as the head of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ pet project Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Corridor

mumbai Updated: Dec 27, 2017 00:08 IST
Surendra P Gangan
Surendra P Gangan
Hindustan Times

Controversial IAS officer Radheshyam Mopalwar, who was sent on compulsory leave in August over bribery allegations, has been reinstated as the vice-chairman and managing director of the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC).

The state government took the decision on Tuesday after a three-member committee cleared the 1995-batch officer of all charges.

Even after his retirement on February 28, Mopalwar is likely to continue as the head of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ pet project Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Corridor, said sources. “I do not want to talk about the probe, but have been claiming from day one that allegations had no iota of substance. I have assumed the charge,” Mopalwar said.

The controversy erupted after an audio clip went viral in which a man was heard asking for Rs1 crore in bribe to clear a redevelopment project in Borivli. The complainant, Satish Mangle, a detective, claimed that the voice was of Mopalwar. The revelation rocked both Houses of the state legislature and the chief minister sent him on compulsory leave. During debates in the legislature, opposition leaders also alleged that Mopalwar had amassed assets disproportionate to his known sources of income. They also accused him of financial irregularities in the Samruddhi project and his involvement in the Telgi scam.

Though Fadnavis announced in the legislative Assembly on August 3 that the officer was removed from the post, the general administration department on Tuesday said he had availed 145 days of earned leave until December 25.

Government officials insisted that Mopalwar was not reinstated but allowed to resume after completion of his earned leave. The three-member committee was led by former chief secretary Johny Joseph and two IPS officers were its members. “The committee report has exonerated Mopalwar in the land deal case, saying the clip appears to be doctored. The complainant, Satish Mangle, was supposed to submit original CDs, but he failed to do so,” an official from Mantralaya said.

On the Telgi scam, the committee pointed out the CBI report which stated that Mopalwar was a complainant in the case and had no direct role in it. It stated that there were no financial irregularities in the Samruddhi corridor as the compensation amount had not been declared against land acquisition.

“As for the other allegations, including disproportionate assets, the committee members said the ACB and Enforcement Directorate were probing it,” another officer privy to the probe said. The committee has handed over the complaints and documents related to them to the home department, which will in turn forward them to the investigating agencies. After accusing Mopalwar of taking bribe, Satish Mangle was later arrested under the charges of extorting money from him.

First Published: Dec 27, 2017 00:08 IST