No respite for Ashok Khemka: BJP refuses to undo Cong's actions against the IAS officer

Nothing seems to have changed for Ashok Khemka, the IAS officer who was transferred on Thursday for the 46th time in his 22-year career as a civil servant.

FP Staff April 03, 2015 13:45:02 IST
No respite for Ashok Khemka: BJP refuses to undo Cong's actions against the IAS officer

Nothing seems to have changed for Ashok Khemka, the IAS officer who was transferred on Thursday for the 46th time in his 22-year career as a civil servant.

No respite for Ashok Khemka BJP refuses to undo Congs actions against the IAS officer

IAS officer Ashok Khemka was transferred for the 46th time in 22 years of service. PTI

In spite of the change of regime in Haryana as well at the centre, the actions taken by the previous Congress government in Haryana against Khemka still remain active, according to Business Standard.

Earlier in 2012, when Khemka was posted as Director-General of Land Consolidation and Land Records-cum-Inspector General of Registration in Haryana, he had brought land deals of businessman Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi, under the scanner.

During the Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government, Khemka had cancelled the mutation of the multi-crore land deal between Vadra's company Skylight Hospitality Pvt Ltd and DLF, terming it as illegal. However, the previous Hooda government gave a clean chit to Vadra in the land deal.

The Haryana government had also chargesheeted Khemka for major penalties, which can lead to dismissal from services for a civil servant, according to Business Standard. He was charged with wrongly cancelling the Vadra land agreement and accused of speaking to the media against the government.

Khemka had also been labelled an officer of 'doubtful integrity' in his Annual Confidential Report (ACR) by the Hooda government in Haryana. A vigilance inquiry had also been ordered against him when he exposed another scam in the state.

Even though the Centre has the authority to quash any action taken by a state government against an IAS officer under the rules governing All India Service officers, the Modi government as well as the new Khattar government in Haryana have taken no measures against the action taken by the previous Congress government against Khemka.

Even when a CAG report in late March accused the previous Congress government in Haryana of showing undue favours to Vadra, the Centre took no action supporting Khemka.

The CAG report had said that the "possibility of extending undue benefit to particular applicant (Vadra's company) cannot be ruled out." It had also questioned the ‘distinction’ made by Hooda’s government for Vadra's company in giving permissions.

Khemka had also reacted to the CAG report, saying that his action in the Vadra land deal stood vindicated.

The IAS officer, who had in November last year been posted as Transport Commissioner and Secretary has now been transferred and given the dual charge of Secretary and Director General, Archaeology and Museums department relieving RS Kharb of the charge, an official release said in Chandigarh.

According to reports, Khemka had a run-in with the Haryana transport minister over easing regulations for overloaded vehicles.

Meanwhile, Haryana's Health Minister Anil Vij came out in Khemka's support, saying he will talk to the Chief Minister regarding the officer "who had worked to weed out corruption during the previous Congress regime".

However, Haryana's Transport Minister Ram Bilas Sharma maintained that "transfer is not a punishment" and stressed that it was a "routine" matter.

"Transfer is not a punishment, a promotion or demotion. Transfer of senior officers is a routine matter. There is nothing special or extraordinary about it," he said while replying to queries on the issue.

Notably, as Transport Commissioner, Khemka had refused to issue fitness certificates to over-sized trucks and trailers for carrying automobiles leading to a truckers' strike in January.

The Transport Minister denied that the move to replace Khemka as Transport Commissioner was related to his decision regarding truckers.

(With inputs from PTI)

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