Khemka gets CAG backing to attend Haryana pre-audit meet

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has directed Haryana's principal accountant general (PAG) to include IAS officer Ashok Khemka in the exit conference before finalising the performance audit report of the Haryana State Warehousing Corporation (HSWC) - a move aimed at ensuring a fair treatment for the whistleblower IAS officer.

IAS whistle-blower Ashok KhemkaCAG apprehends unfair treatment for whistle-blower Khemka during the audit of the Haryana State Warehousing Corporation (HSWC), which is part of the general audit of Haryana's finances and his presence at the meeting will ensure him a chance to defend himself, say official sources.

Exit conferences provide an opportunity to discuss the audit findings and to clarify any point of likely doubt.

The directive comes after Khemka met the CAG on 2 July to explain his position regarding allegations that he had changed terms of reference during the tendering process for the supply of galvume sheets for roofing purposes of the HSWC warehouses, costing around Rs9 crore.

Haryana government had, on 27 November 2013, requested the CAG for a special standalone audit of HSWC, which the CAG had turned down on 19 February 2014, saying that a standalone special audit was not possible.

It was clear that the stand-alone audit of HSWC was aimed at implicating Khemka.

Khemka, 49, who is on the Haryana government's hit list for his role in cancelling Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra's controversial land deal with DLF, is due to join central services on deputation after his name was cleared by the civil services board headed by union cabinet secretary.

In 2012, he cancelled a land deal between realty giant DLF and Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi over alleged irregularities.

Ashok Khemka, who was transferred 44 times in 23 years of his career for refusing to kowtow to political bosses, was off the list because of the chargesheet issued by the Haryana government. However, his name was cleared for central services as there was no corruption angle in the chargesheet.

Khemka's name was on Tuesday approved by the civil services board for central government deputation upon his request after his annual confidential reports marked his overall performance 'outstanding'.

Khemka's name would now be included in the centre's offer list and sent to different ministries. Sources said he's likely to be picked up by the Prime Minister's Office.