IAS officer transferred to Washim over allegations of bullying & entitled behaviour - Hindustan Times
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IAS officer transferred to Washim over allegations of bullying & entitled behaviour

ByNadeem Inamdar
Jul 10, 2024 06:34 AM IST

Earlier, Diwase had written to additional chief secretary Nitin Gadre requesting the latter to consider giving a posting to Khedkar, 32-year-old junior officer, in another district to avoid administrative complications

Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer-on-probation Puja Khedkar was transferred to Washim Monday night, Pune district collector Dr Suhas Diwase confirmed on Tuesday. The transfer order came Monday night and Khedkar will complete her probation at Washim, he said. Hindustan Times has seen the order. “The 2023 batch IAS officer will serve the remaining period of her probation as super numerary assistant collector in Washim district,” the order states.

Diwase had also sought necessary action against Khedkar for her behaviour including aggressive treatment of junior staff, illegal occupation of the ante-chamber of additional collector Ajay More, and demand for additional staff among others. (HT PHOTO)
Diwase had also sought necessary action against Khedkar for her behaviour including aggressive treatment of junior staff, illegal occupation of the ante-chamber of additional collector Ajay More, and demand for additional staff among others. (HT PHOTO)

Earlier, Diwase had written to additional chief secretary Nitin Gadre requesting the latter to consider giving a posting to Khedkar, 32-year-old junior officer, in another district to avoid administrative complications. Diwase had also sought necessary action against Khedkar for her behaviour including aggressive treatment of junior staff, illegal occupation of the ante-chamber of additional collector Ajay More, and demand for additional staff among others.

The 25-page letter, a copy of which has been read by Hindustan Times, enclosed Khedkar’s text messages to senior officers reflecting her assertive behaviour, and photographs showing the changes she made on her own in More’s ante-chamber. Khedkar was seen sporting an amber beacon on her Audi (private car) and the same kept flashing during the day which is not allowed as per the norms. “Her expectations appear unrealistic while she dealt with administrative officers and the staff at the collectorate,” Diwase’s letter dated June 24 stated.

Puja Khedkar was once accompanied to the collectorate by her retired bureaucrat father, Dilip Khedkar. Subsequently, Dilip Khedkar allegedly threatened a senior officer on the phone that his daughter was being deliberately troubled and “those doing it would pay the consequences in future”.

Diwase’s letter stated, “In this entire episode, Puja Khedkar’s father’s behaviour is objectionable and deserves action.”

Despite repeated attempts, Puja Khedkar did not respond to calls and messages.

According to officials, Puja Khedkar even occupied the ante-chamber of additional collector More and made it her own in the absence of the senior administrative official who had gone to Mumbai for official work from June 18 to June 20.

The IAS officer’s conduct became a topic of discussion in administrative circles and on social media and complaints were addressed to senior bureaucratic officials regarding excessive demands made by her and her father, a former administrative officer. In one instance, the father-daughter duo complained to deputy collector Jyoti Kadam that Puja Khedkar had no support staff and that they would take up the matter at the highest level in Mumbai. Due to an increasing number of complaints against the probationary officer, the district collector wrote a strong letter to the chief secretary giving every detail of the incidents taking place at the district collector’s office involving Khedkar.

Khedkar joined as Indian revenue officer in 2020 but once again appeared for the IAS exam in 2022 and secured All India Rank 821. She got selected under a handicap (visually impaired) category and was subsequently posted in the Pune collectorate as assistant commissioner on probation on June 3. In one of her old videos on social media, Khedkar claimed that she had completed her medical education and only later decided to pursue a career as a bureaucrat.

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