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Monday, August 03, 2020

Haryana: HC notice to Centre on Ashok Khemka’s plea over central deputation

A division bench of Justice Rajan Gupta and Justice Karamjit Singh has now issued a notice to the Union government and sought a reply on August 24.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: August 1, 2020 5:43:20 am
Ashok Khemka, Punjab HC, central deputation, Haryana news, Indian express news Ashok Khemka

Haryana cadre IAS officer Ashok Khemka has filed an appeal before the High Court against the order of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), which dismissed his plea seeking directions to the Centre to consider his empanelment for holding the post of additional secretary or equivalent at the Centre.

A division bench of Justice Rajan Gupta and Justice Karamjit Singh has now issued a notice to the Union government and sought a reply on August 24.

In his appeal before the HC bench, Khemka’s counsel Shreenath A Khemka submitted that the consideration for central deputation along with the 1991-batch is a right that cannot be denied.

The plea argues that the CAT in its judgment has ruled that empanelment guidelines are not enforceable.

“…mandating three years central deputation has been unfairly and selectively applied to exclude the petitioner from consideration for empanelment. Relaxation was given not only in the three cases cited, but in several more. There is nothing on record which explains the hardship due to which relaxation in individual cases were given by the Cabinet Secretariat. Whereas, in the case of the petitioner, there was real hardship,” argued Advocate Shreenath.

It has been further argued, that the petitioner was empanelled as joint secretary in December 2010, and applied for Central deputation in the years 2011, 2012, and 2014, but was not appointed at the Centre. He cannot be penalised and debarred for life for minister’s act of ignoring his name for almost 40 panels, the petition says.

“The petitioner was in fact recommended for appointment by the Civil Services Board in July 2014, but pocket vetoed by the ACC under Article 312, and All India Service Officer has a right to serve at both Centre and state. There is 40 per cent central deputation reserve in each state cadre. The doors to the Centre cannot be shut upon the petitioner for no fault on his part,” argued the petitioner.

At CAT as well, Khemka had submitted that he had made a representation to Union government on June 26, 2018 wherein he had pointed out that he was not given an opportunity to serve at the Centre for no fault on his part and, therefore, he should not be penalised by excluding him from consideration of empanelment. The plea was, however, dismissed by CAT Chandigarh bench.

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