Vigilance clears Khemka in green gram purchase probe | india | Hindustan Times
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Vigilance clears Khemka in green gram purchase probe

After dropping a major penalty chargesheet and conditionally promoting him to the rank of principal secretary, the BJP government in Haryana on Friday gave a clean chit to IAS officer Ashok Khemka in a vigilance probe regarding alleged irregularities in the purchase of green gram seed (moong dal) in 2013 during his stint as managing director, Haryana Seeds Development Corporation (HSDC).

india Updated: Mar 13, 2016 00:03 IST
HT Correspondent
Haryana Seeds Development Corporation

After dropping a major penalty chargesheet and conditionally promoting him to the rank of principal secretary, the BJP government in Haryana on Friday gave a clean chit to IAS officer Ashok Khemka in a vigilance probe regarding alleged irregularities in the purchase of green gram seed (moong dal) in 2013 during his stint as managing director, Haryana Seeds Development Corporation (HSDC).

Chief secretary DS Dhesi confirmed that the vigilance inquiry against the IAS officer had been filed.

As Khemka’s promotion to the rank of principal secretary in January 2016 was conditional owing to the pending vigilance probe, the IAS officer would have heaved a sigh of relief after his name was cleared. Khemka on Saturday tweeted, “Cleared in false vigilance case after 31 months. Inquiry report not provided.

Reason? To shield conspirators involved in the frame-up?”

THE PROBE

The state vigilance bureau (VB) was probing the alleged flouting of norms and tendering procedures in the purchase of green gram seeds through a single bidder, Metro Hybrid Seeds (on outright purchase basis), and denying National Cooperative Consumer Federation (NCCF) and National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) the supply order.

According to the official records, the NCCF and NAFED were denied the supply order even as they had agreed to supply the requisite quantity of green gram seed at Rs 8,400 per quintal on consignment basis. Instead, a short-term tender was floated by HSDC inviting private seed producers without even assigning the reasons. Only one seed producer, Metro Hybrid Seeds, made an offer to supply the green gram seed at Rs 8,412 per quintal as against the negotiated rate of Rs 8,400 per quintal agreed by the NCCF and NAFED, VB officials had told HT.

The NCCF had made a formal complaint to the HSDC saying if they had been given a counter-offer to supply green gram seed they would have supplied the moong seed at Rs 8,000 per quintal on consignment basis as the rates of moong seed had considerably decreased in the market during March-April 2013. The Federation also said that denying them the supply order without any intimation about the status of their tender was illegal and undue favour was shown in placing the order with Metro Hybrid Seeds.

While Khemka as managing director, HSDC, had put a condition for the NCCF and NAFED that the seed supplies should be from their own-co-producers and not through traders or middlemen, no such condition was imposed on Metro Hybrid Seeds. The private seeds producer supplied about 6,600 quintals of seed after buying it from other 24 seed producers and traders.

PROBES AGAINST KHEMKA

Chargesheeted during the Congress rule in September 2013 for major penalty. Held liable for administrative misconduct for overstepping jurisdiction in passing orders to cancel the mutation of 3.5 acres in Shikohpur village, the land sold by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s businessman son-in-law Robert Vadra to realty major DLF and indulging in public criticism of the actions and policies of the state government.

Status: Chargesheet dropped by the BJP government.

Vigilance inquiry initiated regarding alleged irregularities in the purchase of green gram seed in 2013 during his tenure as MD, Haryana Seeds Development Corporation.

Status: Vigilance gives him a clean chit.

Issue of alleged irregularities in award of contract for construction of godowns with galvalume roofing sheets by state Warehousing Corporation under his watch is still pending. The previous Congress government had deferred the reference for a CBI probe into matter in light of irregularities pointed out in special CAG audit.

Status: Pending.