New Delhi: IAS officer Ashok Khemka who set aside the mutation of a Rs 58 crore worth plot of land sold by Congress President Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra to realty giant DLF in 2009 says that his 21 years in service have not been a pleasant experience.
"I have completed 21 years of service in the IAS. It's not a very pleasant experience of taking up public issues and living very comfortably with it. It's not this isolated incident only. I only hope that public servants are not victimised for doing their duties. At least the rule book should be obeyed... that a minimum tenure of two years is respected. So that there is some respect, some morale retained in the public servant," he says.
Khemka was transferred on October 11, three days after he initiated a probe into undervalued land deals between Vadra and DLF. He was transferred as the DG, Haryana Seed Development Corporation. However, before leaving office on October 15, he cancelled the mutation of the 3.531 acre plot of land in Manesar-Shikohpur citing irregularities in the transfer of land from Vadra's Sky Light Hospitality Private Limited to the real estate giant. CNN-IBN has accessed the document ordering the cancellation of the mutation. The land deal reportedly had signatures by an unauthorised Haryana official, it says.
Khemka, however, does not wish to comment on it anymore. "I am transferred out of that department. It is not appropriate for me to react on this," he says. He, however, adds, "The officer sanctioning the mutation was not authorised or competent to do so. He didn't have the jurisdiction to sanction the mutation."
"After all... getting a transfer order in three months... four months... walking in walking out... a whole lot of procedure is involved.. whole lot of headaches..." Khemka continues. "Keeping account of so many issues... It's not a very comfortable thing... You do get a sense of injured pride before your staff, your peer group.. they say, 'look we told you so... look you are unsuccessful'. Taking cognizance of your channel and reputed dailies like The Hindu and The Indian Express, I did order an enquiry. I was actually trying to... I had started this probe on October 8.. and was trying to see for myself."