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Khemka's woes continue

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  3 April 2015 12:00 AM GMT

The political wind in Harya has changed, with the BJP now firmly ensconced in power there for the first time. But it has not wrought any change in Ashok Khemka’s fortunes, with the IAS officer on Wednesday receiving his 45th transfer order in his nearly 24-year long career. Khemka had made headlines in October 2012, when as Director and Inspector-General of Harya’s land consolidation, records and registration departments, he cancelled the land deal through which Robert Vadra’s firm had purchased panchayat land at throwaway price in a Gurgaon village, selling it later at astronomical price to real estate giant DLF. He was abruptly transferred, with the then Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government setting his order aside and charge-sheeting him for administrative misconduct. However, Khemka was recently vindicated when the CAG held that the previous Congress regime in Harya showed undue favours to Vadra in the land deal. Meanwhile Khemka’s troubles continued as he went on to expose irregularities in the Harya Seeds Development Corporation to which he had been shifted. The subsequent Manohar Lal Khattar-led government appointed Khemka as Transport Commissioner and Secretary, but soon he was at loggerheads with the Transport Minister over relaxing norms for overloading of vehicles, mostly belonging to the mining mafia. Khemka has now been shifted to the Archaeology and Museums department, which he has described as ‘truly painful’ while the Chief Minister has defended it as a ‘routine’ transfer. It just goes to show that the more things change, the more they remain the same — particularly in the country’s administrative system which has no place for the strictly honest and principled, whistle-blowing official.

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