Principal Secretary of Haryana Sports and Youth Affairs Department Ashok Khemka on Wednesday apologised before the Punjab and Haryana High Court for personally moving an application seeking vacation of the court-ordered stay on his order restraining handball coach Jugminder Singh from joining as the Chief Coach of the Indian Women’s team. Khemka on Wednesday told the court of Justice Rajiv Narain Raina it was an “inadvertent mistake” to engage a personal lawyer and file a personal affidavit in the case. While his application was accordingly withdrawn, the government told the court it had apprised the Chief Secretary about Khemka’s conduct in the case and sought time to file its response.
Justice Rajiv Narain Raina on May 3 had taken a strong note of Khemka’s application while observing that the written submission seeking vacation of the stay has been not filed by Haryana through the Advocate General’s office. The bench had asked the Chief Secretary to explain how Khemka has passed an adverse order against an employee and then has come to support his own decision in the written statement purporting to represent the stand of both the state as well as creating the possibility of being seen as a judge in his own cause.
“The court normally does not expect that officers of the Government who are or may be interested in a cause, and in the ultimate results of the petition, to file written statements on behalf of the states without due consultation with the authorities higher to them for putting forth a dispassionate defence of the case,” the court had said in the order.