Haryana's Town and Country Planning head has taken on IAS officer Ashok Khemka, saying his order cancelling the mutation of Robert Vadra-DLF land deal contained "factual inaccuracies" and had been passed in "total disregard of administrative propriety".
In a strongly worded letter to state chief secretary P K Chaudhery on Wednesday, T C 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, a senior IAS officer, 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.
"The orders contain factual inaccuracies, vitiated by legal infirmities and have been passed in total disregard of administrative propriety," Gupta said in the letter.
In the order, Khemka, who was transferred from his post of Director-General, Consolidation on October 11 and relinquished his charge on October 15 evening, had cancelled the mutation of the land sold by Vadra's company to realty major DLF.
Khemka had observed that the Town and Country Planning Department should not have renewed the LOI/licence granted to the vendor when a major portion of the consideration money had already been paid to it by the DLF.
When contacted on Thursday morning, Khemka said that he would like to "offer no comment" on Gupta's letter.
"The officer (Khemka) is clearly not aware of the difference between licence and LOI. License is issued only after requirements mentioned in LOI are fulfilled and in this case, the licence was issued to (Vadra's company) Skylight Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. in collaboration with DLF Universal Ltd. (erstwhile DLF Retail Developers Ltd.) vide Memo No.12187-12201 dated 15.12.2008 which was valid till 14.12.2010.
"LOI was not renewed but Licence dated 15.12.2008 was renewed strictly in provisions of the terms of the Act/Rules for another two years. This application for renewal was submitted by the licensee on 15.11.2010 along with renewal fees of Rs 72.93 lakhs well within time as per rules and after examining the application in accordance with Rules/prescribed procedure, the license was renewed vide Memo No. 645 dated 18.01.2011 which is now valid till 14.12.2012," Gupta said.
Gupta also alleged 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..."
Coming down heavily on Khemka, Gupta said, "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.