Senior Haryana IAS officer Ashok Khemka, who on Monday cancelled the mutation of a controversial land deal between Robert Vadra’s company and DLF in Gurgaon, is getting death threats from anonymous people, a close friend claimed Tuesday.
“He told me that he has received some phone calls in which people asked him to stop his activities or he would be eliminated,” said Khemka’s friend and senior lawyer Anupam Gupta.
“Those threatening him also say that they have given a supari (underworld contract) to eliminate him,” Gupta said.
Khemka was transferred out as director general of Land Consolidation and Land Records-cum-inspector general of Registration on October 11, days after ordering a probe into the land deal.
He cancelled the mutation of the land sale by M/s Sky Light Hospitality, a company owned by Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday (October 15), his last day in that office.
Vadra’s company, which bought the controversial land on the Manesar-Gurgaon road in February 2008 and got a housing colony licence for it from the Haryana government just a month later (in March), later entered into a sale deed with realty giant DLF to sell it for an amount of Rs 58 crore.
Vadra’s company got the Rs 58 crore from DLF in instalments between June 2008 and July 2012. Khemka has been transferred nearly 40 times in his 21-year career.
Cong vs BJP
Khemka’s transfer also caused a war of words between the BJP and Congress.
The Bharatiya Janata Party slammed the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government for shunting out IAS officer Ashok Khemka and demanded an impartial probe.
“The Congress is in complete shamble and doldrums, they do not know what to do next,” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar 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 pm. This is nothing but emergency mindset,” he said.
The Congress said it was the prerogative of the state government to transfer officials.
“Transfers and postings of bureaucrats is the prerogative of the state government. The chief secretary would clarify,” said Congress general secretary in charge of Haryana, BK Hari Prasad.
Kejriwal attacked Hooda and said an “honest officer” had been transferred for exposing the DLF-Vadra land deal.
Hooda denied his government was favouring anyone in any land deal and asked Chief Secretary PK Chaudhery ‘to examine assertions made by Khemka’.
Khemka alleges humiliation
Ashok Khemka said that he felt “humiliated” after he was transferred. Khemka said that such frequent transfers ‘disturbed’ his family. “There’s a minimum tenure of two years prescribed by law, but I was transferred in 80 days. I feel humiliated and [it is] demoralising, that [frequent transfers] is the best way to make an upright officer ineffective in his job.”