Ashok Khemka IAS……..Right or Wrong

Ashok Khemka IAS……..Right or Wrong 

Yesterday evening, I watched Ashok Khemka live on TV.
I listened to the Panel Speakers, some eloquent, others less so.
So many people supported him. There was an avalanche of congratulatory sms and email messages.
The TV and the media turned him into a hero…..or did they?

Ashok Khemka
Ashok Khemka was born in West Bengal on 30 April 1965. He graduated from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur in 1988. He is an IAS officer of the 1991 batch. His home cadre is Haryana

He has acquired several other degrees, including a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.
In the absence of more details, I can only presume that he acquired these degrees during his service period..

He has been repeatedly transferred by various state governments  in Haryana –  to be precise….. 43 times in the last 19 years.

Conduct Rules
Being a senior and responsible officer, I am sure Ashok Khemka realises that there are rules and regulations which everyone, particularly the senior bureaucrats, have to follow:

1. Ashok Khemka found irregularities in the sale of of 3.531 acres of land in Shikohpur village at Manesar by Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra to the realty giant DLF. for Rs.58 crores. He ordered investigations.
2.  Presumably, as a result of this action, on October 11, 2012, three days after he initiated the probe into undervalued land deals between Vadra and DLF, Ashok Khemka was transferred as the D.G., Haryana Seed Development Corporation.

3.  However, before leaving office on October 15, 2012 Ashok Khemka cancelled the mutation of the 3.531 acre plot of land in Manesar-Shikohpur citing irregularities in the transfer of land by Vadra’s Sky Light Hospitality Private Limited to the real estate giant. He found that the land deal had signatures by an unauthorised Haryana official.

4. I am surprised that not a single panelist could fault this apparently illegal action…..
Honesty is only one of the criteria of a good governance…..following the law and implementing them are equally important.
No show cause appears to have been issued to the concerned parties.  The reason is Ashok Khemka simply did not have the time. Obviously, such frenzied action is wrong in law.

5.  Ashok Khemka was awarded ‘S R Jindal Prize – 2011’ prize which included cash of Rs. 10 Lakhs for ‘Crusade against Corruption’ along with Shri Sanjiv Chaturvedi for his fearless efforts in exposing corruption in high places. There are specific circulars prohibiting the acceptance of such rewards by bureaucrats.

6. Finally, the bureaucracy is expected to work in an anonymous manner. They can not vent their grievances in public, the way Ashok Khemka is doing. This way,  he lays himself open to various charges under the conduct rules.

And all this makes him highly vulnerable to victimisation……….


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7 thoughts on “Ashok Khemka IAS……..Right or Wrong

  1. Would the media have given so much hype if such a thing happened, and it does happen in dozens everyday, with an IRS or an officer in such a sensitive service who must remain subservient to the IAS? Frequent change of postings and transfers are so very common and daily in the IRS that nobody dares question the peculiar pecuniary aspects underlying the high-stake postings!

  2. Its not so simple…..
    In all quasi judicial proceedings, show cause notices have to be issued to the concerned and effected persons….otherwise all subsequent proceedings become malafide and vitiated.
    Here Ashok Khemka did not have the time to issue notices and give a proper hearing, so …..he virtually took the law into his hands and did some ting which is totally illegal, reprehensible and against the principles of natural justice.

  3. Souvik Ghosh on

    while point no. 6 above might be legally justifiable(according to service rules) i personally feel that the media has done a great job by projecting this issue in public domain….This in one way can help to protect the dignity of honest officers and empower them further to challenge the discrepancies & continue their good work….Also it acts as a check on those holy cows in the corridor of power & warns them against willfully mishandling & harrasing the meritocracies of India…Had Ashok Khempka’s story not come before meida how would the nation have known the inhuman treatment meeted to their civil servants by their own representatives for personal motives??Does the people not have the right to know what struggles their servants faces for honestly standing by their interest and not playing to the hands of public power players ??

  4. If we take Ashok Khemka’s case, he has been transferred so many times because of his honesty.
    But Arvind Kejriwal and his wife were allowed to remain in Delhi for 10 years because of their honesty…
    How do you reconcile these two diametrically opposite views ?
    Robert Vadra’s file moved at lighting speed….but Ashok Khemka himself cancelled the allotments at the same speed….after his transfer…at the same speed…without following the basic tenets of natural justice…no show cause…no opportunity of hearing…..
    And then appearing every day on the TV and media….what bull shit…
    Where is our bureacracy heading to….

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