Senior bureaucrat Ashok Khemka was among 13 IAS officers who were transferred by the Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana on Sunday, an official release said.
Many know him as an honest and upright officer who does not tolerate corruption.Khemka had shot to limelight in 2012 when he canceled the mutation of a land deal between Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra’s company and realty major DLF. An auditor’s report had said the Congress bent rules to enable windfall gains for Mr. Vadra’s company.
The report was ignored by the Bhupinder Hooda-led government, which set up its own inquiry and then charge-sheeted Mr. Khemka for “causing damage to Mr. Vadra’s reputation” and “illegally” canceling the deal.
The Congress-ruled government in Haryana had filed a charge sheet against Khemka for “wrongly” canceling the deal, but the Bharatiya Janata Party government dropped the charge sheet when it came to power in the state in 2014.
The 1991-batch-IAS officer has been transferred close to 50 times during his nearly three-decade-long career, not just during the Congress regime but even after the BJP took power in 2014.
This latest transfer came a month after he wrote a letter to the Haryana minister to return an official jeep he was using. Soon after the news of transfer broke, Khemka tweeted this:
So much work planned. News of another transfer. Crash landing again. Vested interests win. Déjà vu. But this is temporary.
Will continue with renewed vigour and energy.
— Ashok Khemka (@AshokKhemka_IAS) November 12, 2017
The Indian Express reported that following the letter from Khemka, Bedi returned the official jeep of the junior officer on 7 October.
“I have nothing to do with the matter. It was an arrangement between the officials. The matter came to my notice two days ago, and I immediately told the department’s director to send the car to the officer concerned,” Bedi was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
This is the third time he has been transferred in less than three months after he was appointed as Principal Secretary of Haryana Social Justice and Empowerment Department. Expressing pleasure, Khemka said he was initially upset with his transfer as he had planned many things but he is happy that he has been posted as Principal Secretary, Haryana Sports, and Youth Affairs Department and will serve under Haryana Sports Minister Anil Vij.
It is fine if it has been done in public interest but saddening if done for vested interests says IAS Officer Ashok Khemka on being transferred again pic.twitter.com/nXBW12ZMmZ
— ANI (@ANI) November 13, 2017
Among other IAS officers transferred were Sunil Kumar Gulati, additional chief secretary (ACS) in the fisheries department who has been posted as chairman-cum-managing director, Haryana Minerals Limited, New Delhi and coordinator, centrally sponsored schemes, in addition, against a newly created post.