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Khemka criticizes HCS officer's posting

Chandigarh: Haryana IAS officer Ashok Khemka, who recently hogged headlines for cancelling the mutation of a land deal between businessman Robert Vadra's company and DLF, has now raised objections to the transfer of a state civil services officer (HCS) to a post citing "conflict of interest" and cadre issue.

"A person who was in their employment cannot reasonably be assumed to be fair while dealing with his ex-masters in the discharge of his official duties," he said in his letter to Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

The letter refers to the state government's orders dated November 23 through which Haryana Civil Services officer Vivek Atray was given the charge of Joint Secretary, Information Technology Department.

However, the state government in a revised order the following day gave Atray the charge of Deputy Secretary of the same department. Atray declined to comment to Khemka's letter saying it was the prerogative of the state government to post him to any post.

Official sources said that UPSC has cleared the name of Atray for promotion to IAS from the Haryana Cadre and the notification of the same is expected soon. In the letter handed by Khemka to the Chief Minister's Office on Tuesday, the senior IAS officer opposed Atray's posting in IT department after his (Atray) "employment" in two private companies related to IT sector for two years.

Atray had served as director, Information Technology in the Chandigarh administration earlier and had dealt with consulting companies including KPMG and Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) in his official capacity, Khemka mentions.

"Against all ethics, Atray was permitted by the state of Haryana to take up employment in PwC and KPMG. He was a servant-employee of these two private consulting companies for two years from October, 2008 to October, 2010 and was paid fat amounts for e-governance consulting by these two private companies with whom he had earlier dealt with officially as director IT department of UT administration," he writes.

"The decisions taken by him qua these two private consulting companies in the Chandigarh UT administration get tainted by his later acceptance of the sweetheart employment deal." Meanwhile, Khemka, who is currently posted as MD of the Seeds Development Corporation, met Chief Secretary P K Chaudhery in his office on Tuesday.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Khemka did not disclose what transpired between the two. Asked about his latest letter to CM, Khemka said it was in his "personal capacity and personally, I am against any caderisation of the posts".

To another question, he said that he has said whatever he had to say in the letter, adding "I don't want to say anything beyond that". However, Khemka, who is himself posted on a non-cadre post, said, "the grievance is still there. The non-cadre post is meant for very junior officer. It doesn't befit my seniority of 22 years".


(Agencies)


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