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Rajesh Moudgil, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, October 17, 2013
The Haryana government has prepared another chargesheet against 1991-batch IAS officer Ashok Khemka, this time for minor penalties in the case of alleged low sale of wheat seeds when he was the managing director, Haryana Seeds Development Corporation Limited (HSDCL), earlier this year.

About a fortnight ago, the state government had decided to chargesheet him for major penalties for “administrative misconduct” and “overstepping his jurisdiction” in cancelling the mutation of the land deal between UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra and DLF in Gurgaon.

In the wheat seed case, Khemka has been chargesheeted under Section 10 of the All India Services (discipline and appeal) Rules, 1969.

The rules pertaining to minor penalties in this case have provisions to censure an officer, withholding of promotion, recovery from pay of the whole or part of any pecuniary loss caused to the government by negligence or breach of orders, withholding of increments of pay, a reduction to a lower stage in the time scale of pay for a period not exceeding three years, without cumulative effect and not adversely affecting his pension.

The chargesheet holds Khemka responsible for the alleged low sale of wheat seeds when he was the MD, HSDCL, from October 15, 2012, to April 4, 2013. Agriculture minister Paramvir Singh had taken a serious note of the matter and sought comments from the HSDCL about the sale of seeds.

On April 4, the HSDCL had in its reply to the minister held that the factors behind the low sale of the seeds included production of older varieties that were not in demand in the state, high cost and less proportionate subsidies.

Earlier, the Haryana government had on September 26 chargesheeted Khemka under Rule 8 of the All-India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules. The major penalty could mean demotion, compulsory retirement and even removal from service.

When contacted, Khemka said he had no comment to make as he had not yet been served any of these two chargesheets.