The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday dropped the proceedings against Haryana’s whistleblower IAS officer Ashok Khemka in a case in which the court had issued him notice to explain as to how he had referred the court by name before the media last year on the issue of his transfer as managing director of Haryana Seeds Development Corporation.
The case came up for hearing before the court headed by justice Rakesh Kumar Jain on Wednesday when appearing for Khemka, senior advocate Anupam Gupta filed a detailed reply to the court notice issued on November 26 last year.
In the notice issued by justice Ranjit Singh (retd), it was mentioned, "The officer (Khemka) had referred to this court by name while appearing on some electronic media or while the issue was covered in the newspapers. Let notice be issued to the officer as to why and in what authority he had referred to this court by name, while making reference to the order passed and whether it would lead to violation of any norms or would be of the nature of contempt."
Gupta informed the court on Wednesday that he had already explained the position to the court headed by justice Ranjit Singh on the very first date after the notice, on December 19 last year. He added that the court was fully satisfied with the reply and had directed to file the affidavit. Accepting the submissions, justice Jain said that when the former judge was satisfied, there was no reason for him now not to be satisfied.
In his reply, Khemka said that he had, “never made any adverse or critical reference to the judiciary or to any individual Hon’ble judge, whether by name or otherwise.”
He said that while responding to the media queries he had just referred to the judge by name stating that in order dated October 1, 2012, the judge had in fact accepted his submissions that it would not be appropriate for him to discharge functions of special collector (headquarters) because any order passed by him in that capacity would be appealable to the divisional commissioners, who were junior to him.
The judge had then directed the government to give charge of the post of special collector (headquarters) to some other officer.