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HindustanTimes Tue,02 Sep 2014

Haryana seeks CBI probe against Ashok Khemka

HT Correspondents and PTI   Chandigarh/Rohtak, January 18, 2014
First Published: 21:53 IST(18/1/2014) | Last Updated: 02:21 IST(19/1/2014)

The Haryana government on Saturday decided to recommend a CBI probe into alleged irregularities by whistleblower IAS officer Ashok Khemka in a Rs. eight-crore deal of the Haryana State Warehousing Corporation.
 
The irregularities were allegedly committed during allotment of work order to an Ahmedabad-based company, Proflex Systems, by Khemka during his tenure as managing director of the HSWC in 2009.
 
Khemka, an IAS officer of 1991 batch, came into the limelight after he cancelled mutation of land deal between UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra and realty giant DLF in 2012.
 
The government had issued a charge-sheet against Khemka for “wrongly” cancelling the mutation, a charge he has denied.
 
In the latest case, the agriculture department had recommended a probe by the State Vigilance Bureau but chief minister, Bhupinder Singh Hooda opted for a probe by the central investigating agency.
 
A series of news reports pertaining to recommendation of vigilance probe were published by Hindustan Times in first week of December.
 
Haryana chief secretary SC Chaudhary said that the decision was taken after Khemka was “prima facie” found guilty in a departmental inquiry into the 2009 deal.
 
“The state government has decided to handover to CBI for enquiry in the allegations made by (one) Ravinder Kumar in the matter of allotment of work to an Ahmadabad-based company for installing galvalume roofing sheets on warehouses…,” he said in a statement.
 
Principal secretary, agriculture (PSA), Roshan Lal in November 18, 2013 had written to the chief secretary saying, “The modus operandi of giving repeat orders worth crores to Proflex without inviting fresh tenders for discovering latest market rates is against established norms of tendering”.
 
On December 3, Khemka had told HT through email that the allegations were “motivated and deliberate, aimed at character assassination by vested interests in the political executive and the bureaucracy who were completely exposed in land-licensing and seed scams”.
 
The state home department will now approach the Union home ministry for a CBI probe against the IAS officer.
 
Hours after the state government’s decision, the Aam Aadmi Party on Saturday demanded that the investigating agency should instead probe the chief minister’s “shady land deals” during his tenure in state.
 
Lending support to Khemka, Navin Jaihind, national executive member of party here said: “AAP stands in support of honest and upright officers like Khemka, who exposed the Congress government’s favours to Robert Vadra”.
 
Terming the decision quite ironic, he said that the “CBI should investigate how many builders and land sharks have been benefited from allotment of farmers land at concessional rates”.

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