Haryana: IAS officer transferred twice within 52 days

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Ashok Khemkha
Chandigarh, Oct 13: The Haryana government was today forced into a corner after reports emerged that it had transferred an IAS officer even as he was looking into land scams in the state.

Till Oct 11, Ashok Khemka was Director General, Consolidations of Holdings and Land Records. On that day, the 1991-batch officer was appointed as MD of the Haryana Seeds Development Corporation.

Since Khemka's new post was last held by a person who is more than 10 years his junior, the transfer does not appear to be a routine one. No wonder, Khemka believes that "vested elements" are behind it.

In a letter sent to Haryana Chief Secretary PK Chaudhery on the day he was transferred, the IAS officer sought security for both himself and his family members as he apprehends a threat from the real estate firms whose illegal transactions he had exposed recently.

Khemkha wrote: "It is shocking to learn about my abrupt transfer...this is deliberate and malafide to punish me due to some vested elements in the political-bureaucratic hierarchy affected by the expose of the scams in consolidation of land holdings under the exercise of powers."

Referring to the IAS (Fixation of Cadre Strength) Regulations 2010 that prescribe a tenure of two years at least in a particular position, he pointed out that the latest transfer is the 43rd in his 21-year-old career.

It is noteworthy that Khemkha served as Director General, Consolidations of Holdings and Land Records, for just 50 days. He stressed to the Chief Secretary that sincere officials must not be tranferred so frequently.

Khemkha mentioned in the letter that real estate companies had gobbled up large tracts of land belonging to various panchayats in the state. He rued that hundreds of crores-worth plots near national and state highways were sold off in the name of consolidation.

Corrupt officials ensured that even newly established real estate firms got panchayat lands at very cheap rates, Khemkha noted. He added that his appointment as MD of Haryana Seeds Development Corporation is actually a "punishment" for blowing the lid off "several dubious" land deals.

Incidentally, anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal had last week released details of certain transactions involving realty major DLF and Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. Kejriwal had also alleged a nexus between the Haryana government and DLF.

OneIndia News

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