A day after it pacified Ashok Khemka,who was transferred after he began probing the Robert Vadra-DLF land deals,the Haryana government was slammed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court for deliberately depriving the senior IAS officer his rightful claim to apply for a plot of land under the government employee quota.
A division bench headed by Justice Jasbir Singh also issued contempt notices to two officials of the Haryana government after Khemka alleged that he was unsuccessful in the draw of lots in Bahadurgarh and Palwal because he was put in the general category.
If this is what you do with your own officers,what will you do with the general public? Justice Singh asked after the Haryana government admitted that it had committed a mistake by not considering Khemka in the service category,which he is entitled to.
Earlier,D V Sharma,the counsel for the Haryana Urban Development Authoritys (HUDA),tried to own up the mistake by calling it a misinterpretation on his part,but the court refused entertain the justification.
It is deliberate. It is not a mistake, the bench remarked orally while hearing the petition filed by Khamka alleging arbitrariness against Haryana.
In his petition,Khemka has alleged that pursuant to an advertisement issued by the HUDA in 2010,he had applied for a plot under the serving government employee quota in three districts Faridabad,Palwal and Bahadurgarh. While the officials considered his application under the government quota for the draw of lots at Faridabad,the same was put under the general category at Palwal and Bahadurgarh.
During an earlier hearing,former Administrator,HUDA,Chander Parkash,in an affidavit filed before the court had claimed that Khemka had applied under the general category. However,the court summoned the original record and it was found that Khemka had applied under the government quota. The court had then issued a notice to Chander Parkash asking him to explain as to why contempt proceedings be not initiated against him for filing a false affidavit.
When the matter came up for resumed hearing on Friday,HUDAs counsel tried to own the mistake. Chander Parkash was also present in the court. However,taking a serious view of the issue,the court issued showcause contempt notices to the then two Estate Officers who were posted at Palwal and Bahadurgarh for wrongly denying Khemka to apply under the service quota.
Khemka had also alleged that the HUDA authorities informed him of his applications status on June 29,days after the draw of lots in Palwal and Bahadurgarh from June 21 to June 25.
However,HUDA in its written reply claimed that the letter was dispatched on June 18,a claim contested by Khemka. On Friday,the court also summoned the original record to ascertain whether HUDA had sent the communication in time. The case has been adjourned for two weeks.