Khemka writes to Hooda, questions HCS officer posting

Haryana IAS officer Ashok Khemka has questioned Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on the recent transfers and postings of senior officers in the state and has objected to the posting of state civil services officers to cadre posts reserved for IAS officers.

Khemka, who is himself posted on a non-cadre post, was in the news after he cancelled the mutation of a land deal between the company owned by Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra and real estate giant DLF.

Khemka referred to the state government's orders dated November 23 through which HCS officer Vivek Atray was given the charge of a joint secretary. However, the orders were revised on the following day, after The Indian Express highlighted the posting, and Atray was given the charge of a deputy secretary for the same departments.

Khemka on Monday wrote to Hooda, "It is reliably learnt that on the direction issued by you on file, the office mechanically issued the impugned transfer order without examining the propriety of posting Shri Vivek Atray as joint secretary and director, Electronics and Information Technology department and managing director, HARTRON. It is clarified here that I am personally against reservation of public posts for any particular cadre because I believe that public posts must be occupied by the most suitable person for that job. But since statutory rules prescribe that these posts are meant for IAS officers, unless the rule is amended, it must be obeyed by everyone. This is the rule of law."

Khemka said Atray "had been director (IT) in Chandigarh Administration and had dealt with consulting companies including KPMG and PwC in his official capacity. Against all ethics, he was permitted to take up employment in PwC and KPMG. Now, the same officer is being rewarded with appointment as director and joint secretary of Electronics and IT department and MD of HARTRON, where he would be dealing with his ex-masters in an official capacity".

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