A recent complaint against Haryana IAS officer Ashok Khemka pertaining to alleged casteist remarks by him against an employee of the Haryana State Warehousing Corporation (HSWC) has taken a new turn with Khemka seeing “wrong and vengeful” conduct of Roshan Lal, principal secretary, agriculture, behind it.
In a letter to chief secretary PK Chaudhery dated October 8 letter, a few days after the complaint was filed against him, Khemka said Lal had expunged the adverse remarks in the annual confidential report (ACR) of Vijay Dahiya, a Dalit employee of the HSWC. He later used the order to target Khemka in Panchkula court.
Dahiya had filed an application for registering a first information report (FIR) against Khemka under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act), 1989, last month.
The Panchkula court issued orders for a police inquiry on Wednesday.
As per documents, Khemka promoted Dahiya from the post of junior technical assistant to technical assistant on December 17, 2008.
Acting on a complaint from a retired employee of the HSWC and evidence, Khemka, then managing director (MD) of the corporation, recorded in the ACR for 2009-10, “…Vijay Dahiya sat on files and even took some files at home. There were complaints that he demanded money from retired employees for clearing their no dues cases. His integrity is adverse.”
Before recording the remark, Khemka got recovered files from Dahiya’s house and a chargesheet was issued to him. Later, Khemka was transferred from the HSWC in 2010.
DELAY OF 14 MONTHS IN RELEASE OF ORDER
The adverse remarks in the Dahiya’s ACR were set aside by Lal in an order signed on May 22, 2012, but it was released after 14 months on July 1 this year to the HSWC and Dahiya.
In September, Dahiya filed the complaint in Panchkula court against Khemka.
There is a question mark whether or not Lal was competent to pass the order. The appeals in such matters against the order of MD are decided by the executive committee of the HSWC. The executive committee is a statutory body created under Section 13 of the Warehousing Corporations Act, 1962.
In Dahiya’s case, then HSWC MD Krishan Kumar, who is a junior officer, on January 5, 2012, had delegated powers to principal secretary Lal, who was a senior employee, to decide appeals of employees against adverse remarks recorded in their ACRs at his own level.
“The principal secretary too was not competent to act upon such illegal delegation without the authorisation of the state government. However, Mr Roshan Lal acted upon such illegal delegation by the MD and illegitimately usurped the role and functions of the executive committee in order to derive wrong benefits,” Khemka wrote in the letter to the chief secretary.
While deciding Dahiya’s representation, Lal did not consider Khemka’s comments as evident from the order that set aside the adverse remarks. Also, Lal stated in the order that remarks of the reviewing authority and an HSWC’s representative were considered but he did not mention them.
JUSTIFICATION IN DELAY OF ORDER
“I did not get time to get the order dictated,” Lal said in his defence when questioned on the 14-month delay in issuing the order. “My order speaks for itself. I am not answerable to what Khemka rubbishes. He is after those who can call him a bluff,” he added.
When contacted, chief secretary PK Chaudhery said: “Firstly, I do not want to comment on it (the delay in issuing the order). Secondly, it does not need to be discussed in the media. It is purely an administrative matter.”