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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

BJP raises questions on appointment of Hooda aide as UPSC member

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, April 29, 2014
First Published: 12:32 IST(29/4/2014) | Last Updated: 12:34 IST(29/4/2014)

Training guns on Congress-ruled Haryana government, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday raised questions on the appointment of a retired Haryana IAS officer, who had worked as chief minister’s aide, as member of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

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BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad who released a booklet on the land deals of Robert Vadra, the businessman son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, stopped short of naming Hooda’s for mer principal secretary, Chattar Singh, who was appointed as the UPSC member after his retirement.

Without naming him, Prasad said that the former IAS officer who handled the change of land use and colonisation license permissions for 9 years from 2005-2013 in the office of Haryana chief minister was appointed UPSC member in September 2013 despite the fact that he retired in the rank of additional secretary.

Prasad said the post of UPSC member was nor mally meant for officers in the rank of secretary to gover nment of India. “What considerations weighed in the appointment,” the BJP spokesperson asked.

Besides, the BJP also attacked the Hooda gover nment for not implementing the October 15, 2012, order of then director general, consolidation of holdings (DGCH), Ashok Khemka, under section 42 of the East Punjab Consolidation Act, cancelling the land mutation between Robert Vadra’s M/s Skylight Hospitality and realty major DLF Universal.

Prasad also raised questions on the constitution of the committee of three IAS of ficers appointed by Hooda to conduct a fair and independent inquiry on the land matters pertaining to Vadra’s companies.

“Can this committee usurp the authority of the high court and nullify a statutory order? What is the credibility of the committee of three IAS officers of whom one member was principal secretary, town and country planning and in whose tenure the commercial colony licence was wrongly renewed on January 18, 2011?

What considerations weighed upon the government in extending the service of the chairman of this committee after his retirement from the IAS?,” Prasad asked.

The BJP said that gover nments of Congress-ruled states were reduced to vassal under the Gandhi-Vadra family. The institutions of the state and their statutory apparatuses were destroyed, honest and sincere officers were actively discriminated against and hounded and corrupt were rewarded and promoted.

CONGRESS RESPONDS
The Cong ress spokesperson, Randeep Singh Surjewala, said that it was a fr ustrated canard by the BJP.

Referring to the appointment of for mer IAS of ficer Chattar Singh as UPSC member, Surjewala said it was unfortunate that the BJP was attacking an outstanding Dalit officer in their continued anti-Dalit tirade.

On charg es of non-implementation of IAS officer Ashok Khemka’s October 2012 order of setting aside the mutation of 3.5-acres Gurgaon land sold by Vadra’s company to DLF, the party spokesperson said an order which was patently illegal, without jurisdiction and void ab initio can never take ef fect.

Surjewala said that BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad, it seems, has either no knowledge of law or is distorting facts.

“There is no jurisdiction of high court that has been usurped in any manner. The BJP is trying to distort the facts,” he said.

On the questions raised on the constitution of the three-member committee, the Congress spokesperson said this was again a wrong statement of facts. “The BJP has no business to question the credibility of Haryana bureaucracy,” he said.


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