Two top Haryana officers on Thursday sparred over cancellation of Robert Vadra-DLF land deal, with the town and country planning head TC Gupta claiming there were "factual inaccuracies" in the orders by Ashok Khemka who stood by his decision and said the aggrieved parties were free to move court.
Senior IAS officer Khemka, who cancelled the sale deed of 3.5 acre of land to realty major DLF following a deal with Vadra, said any aggrieved party - government or parties to the deal - could approach the High Court if they felt aggrieved with his recent order.
Khemka met Haryana chief secretary PK Chaudhary in Chandigarh on Thursday for about 50 minutes- his first meeting after the recent controversy arising out of his order and his subsequent transfer from the post of Director General of Consolidation.
Earlier, Gupta had taken on Khemka, a 1991 batch IAS officer, saying his order cancelling the mutation of the land deal contained "factual inaccuracies" and had been passed in "total disregard of administrative propriety".
In a strongly worded letter to state chief secretary PK Chaudhery on Wednesday, Gupta, director general of Haryana's town and country planning department, referred to "orders of director general, Consolidation of Land Holdings & Land Records-cum-Inspector General of Registration issued on October 15.
Gupta said the original copy of Khemka's order has still not been received by his Department, "even though the same has found its way to all newspapers/ electronic media".
"In these orders, certain comments have unnecessarily been made against the working of this Department which are not only unfounded but totally uncalled for," he said.
Talking to reporters after his meeting with the chief secretary, Khemka said, "The talk with the CS is privileged communication. It cannot be disclosed to the media."
"I have left the post of DG Consolidation. If any party or government has any grievance following my order, the remedy for them lies is to approach the (Punjab and Haryana) High Court," he said.
"I am satisfied with the meeting with the Chief Secretary," Khemka said.
Asked about the letter written by Gupta slamming his actions, he said, "I am not aware about the letter. It was a diversionary tactic to divert from the issues raised. It is like a red herring. You should focus on the issue and not on the myth being created".
On Gupta's demand for taking action against him, Khemka said it was for the government to act. "Everything is on paper and there is nothing to be disputed. But now since I am not on the post it will not be appropriate for me to comment."
On the order of cancellation of mutation passed by him, Khemka said, "As far as I am concerned it is a final order. However, if the government thinks there is any infirmity in my order they can approach the High Court with a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution."
Gupta had alleged in his letter that "several insinuating/ uncharitable remarks have been made in (Khemka's) orders".
In his order, Khemka had said "it is not known what made the Town & Country Planning Department to renew LOI/License on 18.01.2011 in favour of the vendor, when 86.2 per cent of the total sale consideration was paid to him by 7.10.2009 i.e. 15 months before the date of renewal of the LOI/license..".
However, coming down heavily on Khemka, Gupta had said in the letter that "these observations show lack of knowledge on the part of the officer not only about Haryana Development & Regulation of Urban Areas Act, 1975 and Rules, 1976 framed thereunder under which these licenses are granted/renewed but also about the provisions of Transfer of Property Act, which the officer, in the capacity of Inspector General of Registration, was supposed to know.
"It is a well known legal position that the Agreement to Sell, with or without any consideration, does not ‘convey’ any title in favour of the vendee.
"This Agreement to Sell is not supposed to be submitted to the Department under any Act/Rules and was not in the knowledge of the Department," Gupta had stated.