Haryana government frames fresh charges against Ashok Khemka

The Haryana government has framed fresh charges against senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka who brought to light the state government's connivance in the land deals of Robert Vadra, son-in-law of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, in the state.

Ashok Khemka (Photograph courtesy: PAN-IIT Alumni Association)  

Khemka is a 1991 batch IAS officer of the Haryana Cadre. He has been repeatedly transferred by various state governments in his home cadre of Haryana after he exposed corruption in the departments he was posted in

The Bhupinder Singh Hood government has now accused the hapless bureaucrat of failing to meet the targets that were set for the sale of seeds while he was managing director of the state-run Haryana Seeds Development Corporation.

Khemka, whose tenure in the company ended in April, is currently posted in Chandigarh as the Director General of Archives.

While the Hooda government has cleared the charges, Khemka is yet to receive the chargesheet.

The trigger came from Khemka's reported move to approach the CBI over widespread corruption within the company, allegedly without obtaining clearance from the government.

The government in its first charge sheet had sought an explanation from Khemka as to why he cancelled a land deal between Vadra and real estate major DLF that was struck in 2008.

Khemka had also ordered an inquiry into the undervaluation in Vadra's land deals in four Haryana districts adjoining New Delhi.

Khemka passed the orders on 12 and 15 October 2012, respectively, after the state government transferred him as director general, consolidation and inspector general, registration on 11 October 2012.

Khemka, however, contends that he had not relinquished charge of these posts when the orders were passed.

He has also being charged of violating service rules by going to the media openly and even criticising government policies.

Khemka had spoken to news channels and the press while Vadra's land controversies came out.

The state government had set up a committee comprising three senior IAS officers to look into the conduct of Khemka so as to find out any administrative lapses.

The committee came up with a report stating that Khemka's actions amounted to administrative misconduct and exceeding jurisdiction, but without examining Khemka even once.

Khemka, on the other hand, issued a 105-page reply to the committee's report, highlighting various other land scams and sham deals and companies associated with Vadra and other influential people.

Obviously, the Hooda government refused to accept Khemka's reply and instead has proceeded with a fresh inquiry against him.

Khemka was born in Kolkata, West Bengal. He graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur in 1988 with a B.Tech degree in computer science engineering and followed it up with a Ph.D in Computer Science from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai and a MBA degree in business administration. He also holds a MA Economics degree from Indra Gandhi National Open University and has several publications on various subjects to his credit.

In his 22 years of service as an IAS officer in Haryana, anti-corruption crusader and senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka has been transferred over 40 times. The longest he has spent in a single post has been 15 months; the shortest, scant weeks.