Haryana to probe Vadra-DLF deal

Whistleblower IAS officer shunted out

Haryana to probe Vadra-DLF deal

In an attempt to deflect criticism over alleged favours to realty major DLF and Robert Vadra, son-in-law of AICC president Sonia Gandhi, the Haryana government on Tuesday set up a high-level committee that will ascertain the veracity of charges levelled by senior Haryana bureaucrat Ashok Khemka. Khemka on Monday ordered cancellation of the controversial mutation of the DLF-Vadra deal.

Haryana Chief Secretary P K Chaudhary on Tuesday said the committee will be headed by additional chief secretary and will have two other senior members of the government. He said the committee has been asked to complete its task within one month. “The inquiry committee will look into legality of actions taken by officials concerned, including acts of omission and commission, if any,” he said.

The controversy involving Vadra got murkier with the Haryana government transferring Khemka just a day after he ordered probe into “shady” land deals involving Vadra and DLF.

The whistleblower bureaucrat, who has been transferred 41 times in 20 years of his service, however left the state government and many others red faced after he ordered the cancellation of the mutation of the Vadra-DLF deal a day before relinquishing charge of his office on Monday.

Khemka also ordered that the deputy commissioners-cum-registrars of Gurgaon, Faridabad, Palwal and Mewat district would inspect the record of documents related to the land transactions of Vadra or his companies from January 2005 onwards. Khemka ordered cancellation of the land mutation maintaining that it was not signed by a revenue officer which was in violation of the rules, a charge which the state government has rubbished.

The 45-year-old IAS officer on Tuesday claimed he is a victim of political and bureaucratic red tape and is receiving threatening calls.

An embarrassed state government, however, trained guns on Khemka saying that his latest transfer was carried out in compliance with the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court issued on October 1.

A government spokesperson said Khemka had requested that he be relieved of the charge of special collector, the post traditionally held by the director, consolidation.

The government said Khemka protested against his transfer on October 12, but he did not mention the reason for shifting him. Three days later, on October 15, Khemka cancelled the mutation of Vadra’s land deal.

The case that has come under suspicion and scanner revolves around the probe that Khemka ordered into Vadra’s sale of land measuring 3.531 acres, at Shikhopur village at Manesar near the national capital, to the real estate giant DLF.

Vadra bought land at Manesar for Rs 7.5 crore in February 2008. In March 2008, less than a month after the land was bought, Vadra got licence for housing project on Manesar land.

Interestingly, within 65 days, DLF bought the land from Vadra, paying him Rs 58 crore, an escalation of eight times.

Licence renewed

In January 2011, the Haryana government renewed licence for the land in the name of Vadra's company, Sky Light Hospitality, even though it had sold it to DLF. Khemka acted in the case in the capacity of the inspector general of registration and director-general of consolidation of land holdings.

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