Chandigarh: IAS officer Ashok Khemka has sought registration of an FIR after an RTI filed by him found that two pages of a file pertaining to the controversial DLF-Robert Vadra deal are missing from government records.
Admitting that the pages were missing, Chief Secretary P K Gupta said an internal inquiry has been instituted in the matter and efforts are on to reconstruct the file.
Khemka, who had over two years back cancelled mutation of the land deal between Robert Vadra’s company and DLF, said official notings pertaining to setting up a three-member committee by the previous Hooda government, which gave clean chit to Vadra’s firm, are “missing” from the main file.
Demanding that a case be registered in the matter, Khemka told PTI today that “it is a serious matter and it should be probed…how can the notings suddenly be untraceable”.
“The file noting is a very important piece of record which would establish that the three members were specifically appointed to an illegally constituted Committee by the then political executive, where the only remedy to an aggrieved party was to file a writ petition in High Court, with the pre-determined objective to accord clean chit to black-marketing of colony license by M/s Skylight Hospitality, a company belonging to Robert Vadra, and to discredit my action of cancelling the land mutation from M/s Skylight Hospitality to M/s DLF,” Khemka charged in a letter yesterday to the Haryana Chief Secretary.
The two pages with notings on the previous Congress government’s decision to constitute an official probe committee that later gave clean chit to Vadra and DLF of any wrongdoing in Gurgaon land deal are untraceable, the present State Government has said responding to Khemka’s RTI plea.
State Public Information Officer D R Wadhwa, in an affidavit before State Information Commission a week back, has mentioned that despite efforts to trace out Page No 1 and 2 of the noting of the file, these could not be traced and therefore, these pages, could not be provided to Khemka.
The 48-year-old IAS officer, whose action to cancel the mutation in October 2012 had raised a political storm, had sought the documents to ascertain how the official committee, which later on gave clean chit to Vadra, was constituted.
The Chief Secretary on his part said that it was a fact that a page of the file was missing.
“This is a fact that one page of the file is missing, which is two numbers – 1 and 2. I have seen this filed today itself and this page is missing. For this we are instituting an inquiry…if somebody is guilty, we will take action,” he said.
The Chief Secretary also said that they would reconstruct the file.
“We are trying to reconstruct the file because I think it was six-seven months back somebody asked for information under RTI, somebody other than Khemka. He had asked for information and that information was given to him…We are approaching the Information Commissioner’s office to see if a copy of that is available with that office,” Gupta said.
Khemka wrote to the Chief Secretary that under RTI the former has been informed that noting related to constitution of the Committee constituted on October 19, 2012, barely a week after the mutation was cancelled, “by the then political executive to give clean chit to Skylight Hospitality and to discredit my action of cancelling the mutation is detached from main file and is denied to me under RTI Act”.
“This is serious, now there can be no scrutiny of the matter as to how Krishna Mohan, K K Jalan and Rajan Gupta became members, what were the terms of reference and what occasioned the constitution of the committee when the parties were not aggrieved against my orders and the only remedy against the order was to approach the High Court,” he wrote.
The previous Hooda government had constituted the committee after Khemka cancelled the mutation and IAS officers Krishna Mohan, K K Jalan and Rajan Gupta were part of the committee.
Of the three officers in the probe committee, Krishna Mohan has retired.
In May 2013, the State had served a chargesheet on Khemka for administrative misconduct and exceeding his jurisdiction while cancelling the mutation of the Rs 58 crore land deal between Vadra’s company and DLF, on October 15, 2012.
“..It is definite that persons with ulterior motives have stolen important pages from the file, including the two pages leading to the constitution of the three member Inquiry Committee on October 19, 2012, to avoid scrutiny of their wrong actions.
“If the two important pages are actually missing as alleged, I request you to order an FIR against all persons in the office of the then Chief Minister to whom the file should not have been sent ordinarily as per the work distribution in the then Chief Minister’s Office,” Khemka further wrote.
He also said that one of the charges against him is based on the allegation that he did not hand over charge of the Departments of Land Records and Consolidation (Khemka was then DG of the Department) on the day of transfer.
“There are umpteen number of other cases where IAS officers did not hand over charge on the day of transfer, but nobody else was put to a charge sheet on this count. The Personnel Department must have noticed the violation of some instruction of the State Government on file before framing the said charge.
“Please allow me access to the said instruction of the State Government, if any, and provide a list of all IAS officers transferred along with the date of transfer and the date of relinquishment of charge during any one-year period,” he further wrote.
Khemka also said that another charge against him is based on the allegation that he took cognizance of allegations made in the media and ordered an inquiry into the alleged undervalued deeds of the companies belonging to Robert Vadra.
“The Government routinely takes cognizance of allegations appearing in the media. An instance is the recent rape in a taxi provided by Uber, where orders banning unregistered web based taxi services were issued recently by the Delhi Transport Department and the Home Ministry.
“The Personnel Department must have noticed the violation of some instruction of the State Government on file before framing the said charge. Please allow me access to the said instruction of the State Government, if any, in order to effectively reply to the charge,” Khemka, who is at present Transport Commissioner and Secretary to Government of Haryana, Transport Department, said in his letter.