The Haryana Seeds Development Corporation (HSDC) managing director, Ashok Khemka, has questioned the posting of a corporation’s driver with additional principal secretary to chief minister (APSCM) KK Khandelwal in spite of being no such order from the government.
The IAS officer has sought the reimbursement of salary amounting to about Rs 16 lakh from the chief minister’s office, as driver Rai Singh was drawing salary from the HSDC but working in the CMO.
The issue of salary was referred to the principal secretary (agriculture), who did not entertain the reimbursement claim on the pretext that there was no government order that deputed Rai Singh as driver in the APSCM office.
Rai was deputed as driver on the directions of the APSCM office vide note dated November 12, 2008. He worked with Khandelwal from November 14, 2008, to January 10, 2013.
In a January 25 letter to the chief secretary, PK Chaudhery, Khemka wrote that the transfer orders (in this case, Rai’s transfer) by the chief minister were communicated on files under the signatures of officers posted in the CMO. “Sometimes, the desires or orders of Hon’ble CM conveyed on his behalf in matters regarding transfers are not appropriate. It is not humanly possible for any single man to send thousands of transfer notes on administrative merits. There is likelihood of powers being misused in this process,” the letter stated.
He further wrote, “It is not known to this office whether the Hon’ble Chief Minister or the government has given such authorisation to anyone in writing to issue orders or desires on behalf of Hon’ble Chief Minister. If so, a copy may be supplied to this office.”
In another letter to Chattar Singh, principal secretary to chief minister, dated January 25, Khemka wrote, “It will be gross injustice to the stakeholders of this corporation (HSDC) if the salary of staff ordered to work in the office of APSCM is not reimbursed by the CM office.” On the behalf of the HSDC, he requested Chattar Singh to ensure reimbursement of entire salary amount.
ISSUE OF HONORARIUMS
Khemka had withdrawn three honorariums gifted to Rai that amounted to Rs 71,355 by an order dated November 21, 2012, as he was not working with the HSDC. An honorarium comprised a month’s salary with dearness allowance (DA).
The honorariums were granted by Ashok Kumar Yadav on October 22, 2010; Vikas Yadav on July 10, 2011; and HS Malik on July 18, 2012, in their capacities as managing directors of the HSDC. “Such arbitrary sanction of honorarium for the reason that the employee is working with the high and mighty is demoralising to the sincere, honest and hard working public servants,” Khemka wrote.
The issue of Rai’s posting was raised during a meeting between HSDC employees’ union and Khemka. Union leaders expressed satisfaction with the IAS officer’s justification.