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Vadra land deal: Probe into allocation of Gurgaon commercial licence begins

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Investigation into a land deal involving Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra has begun, an official said.

The investigation initiated on Monday is led by a one-man Commission of Inquiry (CoI), although Gurgaon joint commissioner of police Saurabh Singh has been attached to the inquiry commission for necessary assistance.

The transfer or disposal of licences, allegations of private enrichment and ineligibility of beneficiaries under the rules will be probed by the commission.

The report is expected to be submitted to the state government within the next six months.

“Retired Delhi high court judge SN Dhingra, who will probe the issue, visited his office for the first time and checked some papers and files related to Vadra’s land deal,” senior officials told IANS.

A meeting involving officials was held by Justice Dhingra at the newly set-up office in Civil Lines.

Issues pertaining to the grant of commercial licence to Sky Light Hospitality, a company owned by Vadra, will be conducted by him.

Vadra’s company was granted a commercial licence for 2.70 acres in Sector 83 (Shikohpur), Gurgaon by the town and country planning department in 2008.

Senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka as director general of consolidation of holdings had cancelled the mutation of 3.5 acres in Shikohpur on the Delhi-Jaipur-Mumbai National Highway 8.

The plot was sold by Vadra to realty giant DLF.

A report constituted by the then Congress government in Haryana had termed Khemka’s orders “inappropriate and without jurisdiction”.

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Haryana govt drops charges against IAS officer Ashok Khemka

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New Delhi: In a major relief for whistleblower IAS officer Ashok Khemka, the Haryana government on Wednesday dropped charges against him.

Khemka was charge-sheeted in May 2013 by the Congress government of Bhupinder Singh Hooda and accused of administrative misconduct while cancelling the mutation of the Rs 58-crore land deal between Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra’s company and DLF.

Khemka, however, said he was yet to receive official confirmation in this regard.

Despite the BJP government taking over in October 2014, the charges had not heretofore been dropped.

On April 1 2015 Khemka was once again transferred to an inconsequential posting by the BJP government in Haryana. This was Khemka’s 45th transfer in 24 years.

Khemka, as per the latest orders of the Haryana government, had been posted as Secretary, Archaeology and Museums Department and Director General, Archaeology and Museums.

He was appointed as transport commissioner and secretary, Transport department, last year after Manohar Lal Khattar assumed office as chief minister of the first BJP government in Haryana.

At that time, Khemka, who had blown the lid off from the controversial multi-million-rupee land deals of Vadra, was touted to get an important assignment. However, he was posted in the transport department.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Ashok Khemka writes to CBI chief to pursue investigation in seed scam

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Chandigarh: IAS officer Ashok Khemka wrote a letter to CBI Director Anil Sinha on Friday regarding the agency’s closure report in the Haryana seed scam. In his letter Khemka said, “It appears that the closure report is not based on sound professional grounds.”

IAS officer Ashok Khemka Photo credit: indianexpress.com
IAS officer Ashok Khemka
Photo credit: indianexpress.com

Khemka revealed this scam two years ago when he was the Managing Director  of Haryana Seed Development Corporation (HSDC) and said that the corporation purchased around one lakh quintal of wheat seeds at higher rates in 2010.

In the report submitted recently in the state assembly, the Comptroller of Auditor General (CAG) stated that the state had purchased the seeds at higher rates resulting in extra expenditure of approximately Rs 3 crore.

But the CBI closure report said that allegations of buying certified wheat seeds at outrageous rates (and so causing a loss to the state exchequer) could not be confirmed.

However, Khemka said that the closure report seems to be based on the defence of suspects and private suppliers “deliberately ignoring his complaint and completely overlooking several incriminating evidence available on record which clearly establish the guilt of the suspects acting in criminal collusion causing wrongful losses to the state exchequer.”

 

Earlier in April this year, when Khemka was unexpectedly transferred by Haryana’s BJP government led by Manohar Lal Khattar the officer had tweeted that the action was “painful”.

 

Pointing out the possibility of a conspiracy of some officials of Haryana government and central cooperative agencies with private suppliers, the IAS officer claimed that illegal gains in such transactions by suppliers were shared with people on the buy side. “It is clear to any discerning mind that the purchase procedure adopted was tailor-made to misappropriate government money by taking private seeds supplies at higher than market rates through the backdoor,” he was quoted as saying to a newspaper.

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Expenditure on VIP security unknown while common man battles worsening law and order situation

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

On one side where law and order situation is going from bad to worse, the resources employed for the security of a few VIPs is difficult to calculate.

“As regards expenditure on security, the same is difficult to determine precisely as it would include salary and allowances to security personnel, communication, transport vehicles etc. which are accounted for under respective budget heads of different security agencies, including State Government agencies, involved in providing security cover. Such details are not compiled centrally and so cannot be provided,” said Minister of State for Home Affairs, Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary in Lok Sabha today.

There are about 275 individuals in the country including Robert Vadra and Priyanka Gandhi who have been given the privilege of extra security.

“Security cover is provided to individuals by virtue of the posts held by them viz. the President, Vice-President, Prime Minister, Union Ministers, Chief Justice/Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts, Speakers of the Lok Sabha and their counterparts in the State Government set-up and some senior Government functionaries dealing with sensitive subjects having a bearing on national security. Security cover is also provided to an individual on the basis of comprehensive ‘assessment-of-threat’ carried out by the security agencies,” the minister said.

Since ‘Law and Order’ is a State subject under the Constitution, the responsibility for providing security to an individual who is ordinarily resident in or happens to be under the jurisdiction of a State Government, lies primarily with the State Governments concerned,  Chaudhary said.

The Central Government also provides security cover on the basis of assessment of threat to some individuals. Thus the number of protected in the Central List varies from time to time. However, as on date, there are 275 threat-based protected in the Central List, as per details below:

“Z+” category – 31 
“Z” category – 77 
“Y” category – 136 
“X” category – 31 
Total – 275 
(IANS)