Following up on two chargesheets and several departmental enquiries, the Haryana government has now recommended a CBI probe against IAS officer Ashok Khemka for alleged irregularities in purchase of Rs 8 crores worth of Galvalume roofing sheets when he was managing director of the State Warehousing Corporation in 2009.
In a statement issued here, Haryana chief secretary, SC Chaudhary said that the government has decided to hand over the enquiry of the allegations made by one Ravinder Kumar in August last year, to the CBI. The matter relates to allotment of work to an Ahmedabad based company for installing galvalume roofing sheets on warehouses by Mr Khemka. Mr Chaudhary said that the agriculture department had found prima facie truth in the allegations made by Ravinder Kumar and recommended an independent probe.
In November, the state government had requested the Haryana office of the Comptroller and Auditor General to conduct a special audit into financial transactions done during Mr Khemka’s tenure in the Corporation. Sources in the CAG office told The Hindu, that the matter has been referred to the head office in Delhi and the audit will be done only after getting necessary approval.
Mr Khemka declined to comment on the latest salvo against him, saying that he will respond at an appropriate time. But in the last few months, as the government unleashed a series of measures against him, he has maintained that he is being victimized and that the allegations against him are aimed at character assassination by vested interests in the political executive and bureaucracy who have been exposed in the land licensing and seed scams.
Mr Khemka hit the headlines in 2012 when he cancelled a land deal mutation between UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra and realty giant DLF. Last year, the Bhupinder Singh Hooda Congress government had issued a charge sheet against Mr. Khemka for “wrongly” cancelling the mutation.
The proposal for a CBI probe submitted by Haryana’s Home department has been approved by the chief minister Mr Hooda. The government will not approach the Union Home ministry for initiating a CBI enquiry against Mr Khemka. The matter relates to purchase of Galvalume roofing sheets for the Warehousing Corporation, instead of the conventional asbestos cement sheets. The agriculture department enquiry noted that since Galvalume, is a new technology, Mr Khemka should have done a proper cost benefit ratio of both technologies and taken the Board of directors into confidence before changing its earlier decision to go in for asbestos sheets.