Transfer a Govt prerogative, says Congress; Opposition seeks probe
Transferred Haryana official Ashok Khemka has reportedly cancelled the mutation of the Rs 58-crore land deal between realty major, DLF, and a firm owned by Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
The immediate fallout of the reported cancellation would be that DLF would not be able get the title of the prime land, measuring over 3.5 acres, transferred. It will remain in the name of Vadra’s company, Sky Light Hospitality.
The land was sold to DLF on September 18 though the agreement to sell was executed in June 2008.
Meanwhile, in Chandigarh, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said action would be taken against anyone found guilty if the bureaucrat’s assertions on land deals were found true. “I have asked the Chief Secretary to examine the whole matter,” he said.
Khemka was transferred on October 11 as Director General of Land Consolidation and Land Records-cum-Inspector General of Registration office, to the Haryana Seeds Development Corp. On his last day in office on October 15, he cancelled the mutation.
Khemka, who was removed in the wake of his ordering a probe into all the land dealings of Vadra in four districts of Haryana, has sought an explanation for his ‘abrupt’ transfer. The1991 batch officer claimed that this was his 43rd transfer in 20 years.
Following the controversy over Khemka’s transfer, Congress General Secretary in charge of the State B.K. Hari Prasad said “Transfers and postings of bureaucrats is the prerogative of the State Government.”
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata party and the CPI(M) on Tuesday sought an impartial probe into the allegations by Khemka.
BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar alleged that the Hooda Government was trying to shield Vadra .
Flaying Congress for an “Emergency mindset”, he said, “What is needed is an impartial probe. One officer with integrity has decided to take suo motu action... Instead of acting on his direction, the Government acted against him and transferred him, that too by sending orders at 10 p.m.”
CPI (M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury said, “The Haryana Government should answer the reason behind the transfer. A proper investigation must be held. Then only we will be able to know what is true and what is not.” he said.
Anti-graft activist Arvind Kejriwal, too, sought an explanation from the Hooda Government as to why Khemka was transferred and what the transfer policy for IAS officers was in Haryana.