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Haryana Govt chargesheets Ashok Khemka
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
The Haryana Government has chargesheeted whistleblower IAS officer Ashok Khemka over cancellation of a land deal between UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s businessman son-in-law Robert Vadra and realty major DLF in October last year. The seven-page chargesheet was delivered at the 1991-batch officer’s residence late last night in his absence. He has been given 15 days to file a reply.

The chargesheet against the bureaucrat mainly deals with the issue of alleged administrative misconduct and the “damage caused to the reputation of Vadra and DLF.”

Khemka, who had gone to Delhi yesterday, said he would respond to the charges soon. In a strongly worded letter to Chief Secretary PK Chaudhery, the officer said he was in Delhi when his minor son was forced to accept delivery of the packet containing the chargesheet at 8. 30 pm yesterday.

The officer has been accused of administrative misconduct by overstepping jurisdiction in passing orders to cancel the mutation of a 3.5-acre land in Gurgaon's Shikohpur village. The land was sold by Vadra to DLF.

The chargesheet accused the officer of going to the media after cancelling the mutation of the land, criticising the state government's policy and not immediately giving up charge of his post despite having been transferred.

The chargesheet has been issued under rules - including Rule 8 of the All-India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules - which say the person could be dismissed from service if found guilty. The bureaucrat had cancelled the mutation on October 15, 2012, as the Director General Consolidation of Holdings and Land Records-cum-Inspector General of Registration. The state government claims that Khemka had no powers to do so as he had been transferred as Managing Director of Haryana Seeds Development Corporation (HSDC). He has also been accused of singling out a particular mutation.

The chargesheet is understood to have mentioned the clean chit given to the land deal by a high-level committee which was formed by the Haryana Government last year to probe Khemka’s orders to cancel the mutation.

The committee had held that there was no undervaluation of land for payment of stamp duty on registration as alleged and had put the IAS officer in the dock for acting beyond the authority vested in him. The probe panel had cleared the Rs 58-crore land deal, saying the factual position was different from the stand taken by Khemka. Deputy commissioners of Gurgaon, Faridabad, Palwal and Mewat had inspected all documents registered in their respective districts from January 1, 2005 till October 2012 by or on behalf of Vadra or his companies in the capacity of either vendor or vendee and had certified that no deed had been found registered as undervalued, a statement earlier issued by the state government had said.

Khemka is currently the Director General of Archives in Chandigarh. The government is planning to issue a second chargesheet to him that relates to his tenure as the HSDC MD. The government is alleging that Khemka under-performed and the firm did not sell enough seeds. Khemka, on his part, says he is being punished for reporting an alleged swindle in the firm to the CBI without seeking the state government's permission.

Reacting sharply to the government’s move, the BJP and the INLD said an "honest and upright officer is being punished for doing his duty and exposing scams". While INLD's state unit chief Ashok Arora said, "Khemka has been punished for exposing the land scams involving high and mighty", Leader of the BJP Legislative Party Anil Vij said: "An honest and upright officer is being harassed for just doing his job."

Vadra-DLF deal

  • Khemka has been accused of administrative misconduct while cancelling the mutation of the land sold by Vadra to DLF
  • The chargesheet says he denting Vadra, DLF’s image
  • Went to media criticising govt policies
  • Didn’t give up charge after being transferred as MD of HSDC

Didn’t favour Vadra

Dismissing allegations of irregularities in the DLF-Robert Vadra land deals, Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda (pic) on Thursday said his government did not favour or acquire land for anyone and the issue was being raised to malign the Congress and the Gandhi family.





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