The Haryana Lokayukta, Justice (retd) Pritam Pal, has sought a detailed report from the state government in the controversial case of purchase of galvalume sheets by the Haryana State Warehousing Corporation (HSWC).
Senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka was the Managing Director, HSWC, during the period when HSWC awarded the works of supply and installation of arch-shaped galvalume sheets as roofing material over food storage godowns of HSWC and Food and Supplies, Haryana.
Acting on a complaint by Panchkula resident Ravinder Kumar, the Lokayukta has asked the Haryana Chief Secretary to probe the allegations and submit a report within 45 days. The letter issued by Under Secretary, Lokayukta, to the Chief Secretary dated August 8 reads, “You are requested to please enquire into the allegations mentioned in the complaint and furnish your report in duplicate to this office within 45 days positively to proceed further in the matter.” Khemka has already vehemently refuted all such allegations.
Ravinder Kumar, in his complaint, had alleged that Khemka was not competent to change the technical specifications of conventional godowns at his level. He added that by changing the technical specifications, Khemka allegedly extended benefit of crores of rupees to the private company.
“He (Khemka) awarded the works of supply and installation of arch-shaped galvalume sheets as roofing material over food storage godowns of HSWC and Food and Supplies, Haryana, to the said company without his authority and jurisdiction,” the complaint said. The Gujarat-based company, M/s Proflex Systems, was given the contract.
Ravinder Kumar also mentioned that “Shakuntala Jakhu, the then Financial Commissioner, Agriculture department, was presiding over the Board of Directors, HSWC in its 176th meeting on March 25, 2009, when Khemka had sought approval for using galvalume sheets in the godowns of HSWC. But he had already awarded the works of supply and installation of galvalume sheets amounting to Rs 7.9 crore to the company on February 18, 2009”. Shakuntala Jakhu is presently the Chief Secretary of Haryana, from whom the Lokayukta has sought a report.
On the basis of a similar complaint filed by Ravinder Kumar last year, the Haryana government had decided to recommend a CBI probe into the matter. In January this year, the agriculture department cited irregularities in the tendering process and forwarded the case to the then Chief Secretary S C Choudhary for an independent probe. Choudhary sent the case to the Home Department for making a reference to the Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training, in the Government of India. However, it was yet to be done.