HUDA denies quota claim to IAS officer

The Haryana government is facing the high court flak for applying two different yardsticks on a IAS officer who had applied under the employee quota for a plot of land.

Shocked over the way the Haryana government deprived the rightful claim to IAS officer, Ashok Khemka, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Saturday admonished the state. It also slapped a showcause contempt notices on Administrator, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA).

Khemka, at present posted as Director General of Consolidation of Land Holdings, Haryana, had applied, under government employee quota, for a plot of land in three districts - Faridabad, Palwal and Bahadurgarh - after the HUDA advertised the same in 2010.

While in Faridabad, the HUDA considered his application under the said quota, it was treated under general category at Palwal and Bahadurgarh.

Later, Khemka moved the high court alleging state authorities of depriving him of his right to apply under the government quota. Taking stock, the court had issued notices to HUDA.

Last week, then HUDA Administrator Chander Parkash, in an affidavit, claimed that Khemka had applied under the general category and that his petition was bereft of merit. As Khemka's counsel contested the claim, the court summoned the original record.

On Saturday, on perusal of records it was confirmed that Khemka had applied for the government quota plot. Caught on the wrong foot, HUDA's counsel today submitted that the previous stand (that Khemka had applied in general category) was a "human error".

Peeved, a division bench headed by Justice Jasbir Singh issued showcause notices to the former HUDA Administrator asking him to explain as to why contempt proceedings be not initiated against him.

In another serious accusation, Khemka told the court that in order to ensure that he is deprived of applying under government quota, the HUDA authorities informed him of his application status a week after the draw took place. In his petition, Khemka had annexed information obtained by him under the Right to Information (RTI) Act from HUDA. In response to Khemka's query, HUDA has submitted that it had earned more than Rs 135 crore from the draw of lots for the said plots in the three districts.

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