Mumbai

Maharashtra bureaucrat exonerated of graft charges, reinstated


Mumbai, Dec 27 (IANS): After being sent on compulsory leave for 145 days, senior Maharashtra IAS officer Radheshyam L. Mopalwar was on Tuesday reinstated as the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation Ltd (MSRDC) chief.

An official order issued on Tuesday said his 145-day-long leave from August 3 had been approved, and it directed him to take over his posting as Vice Chairman and Managing Director of MSRDC immediately.

Mopalwar had been asked to proceed on "leave" from August 3 by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis after a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Anil Gote complained about the bureaucrat having allegedly amassed disproportionate assets worth over Rs 800 crore.

Later, the state opposition parties produced a letter from the Prime Minister's Officer seeking a report from the state Chief Secretary on the allegations against Mopalwar.

Under pressure from both the ruling combine and the oppositon, Fadnavis had ordered him to proceed on long leave till his name was cleared of the graft allegations.

At that time, Mopalwar was overseeing some of the top projects, including Fadnavis' pet showpiece Rs 46,000-crore Mumbai-Nagpur Super Communication Expressway.

A three-member probe panel appointed to investigate the matter, however, exonerated him of the graft charges, thus paving the way for his return to his original posting.

Interestingly, in the late-1990s, when Mopalwar headed the Stamps Department, his name had figured in the Rs 2,000-crore fake stamp papers scam masterminded by Abdul Karim Telgi, but the officer maintained that he was actually the "whistle-blower" who exposed it.

Telgi, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in that scam, died while serving his sentence following multiple organ failure on October 23 this year.


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