Haryana drops case against Khemka for blocking Vadra-DLF land deal

The BJP government in Haryana has dropped charges against IAS officer Ashok Khemka over cancellation of mutation of land deal between UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra and real estate giant DLF, two years after the then ruling Congress party charged the whistle-blower official with wrongful action.

The Congress government in Haryana led by Bhupinder Singh Hooda had, in December 2013, charged Khemka with wrongly cancelling the mutation of land deal between Vadra and DLF.

Infact, the charges were served on Khemka's minor son on late evening of 4 December 2013 as the bureaucrat was not at home at that time. Khemka was asked to reply to the charges within 15 days.

Khemka was transferred from the land consolidation department on 11 October 2012. But he left on 15 October after cancelling the mutation of Vadra-DLF land deal.

The Hooda government had alleged that he did not leave the charge for four days "intentionally" to cancel the mutation.

However, the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had vindicated Khemka's action in Vadra-DLF land deal.

The Congress government had also alleged that the cancellation of mutation was not within the jurisdiction of Khemka and that he had passed the order without giving an opportunity to the party concerned.

A day after his transfer order, on 12 October 2012 Khemka directed the deputy commissioners of Palwal, Faridabad, Mewat and Gurgaon to probe whether stamp duty was paid in the Vadra land deals executed after 2005.

The government had alleged that these orders were wrong and motivated as "Khemka ordered probe in the land deals of only one firm while 3,000 land deals were executed during 2005-2012".

The government had also alleged that Khemka, when he was the director general of land consolidation department, had "unnecessarily" suggested to the town and country planning department what should have been done before renewal of Vadra's land licence.

Khemka was also alleged to have gone to the media after cancelling the mutation in Vadra- DLF land deal criticising the policies of the government.

The Hooda government had also alleged that Khemka had violated rules 3,5,6 and 7 of All India Service Rules in the matter.

However, Khemka had refuted the allegations.

According to the CAG, Vadra had gained from the land licences.

The BJP swept to power in Haryana in the 2014 assembly elections and the Haryana government under chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar has dropped the charges levelled against Khemka.