THREE MONTHS after the Punjab and Haryana High Court rejected Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s “adverse” remarks in the Performance Appraisal Report (2016-2017) of IAS officer Ashok Khemka, the latter has written to the Chief Minister, seeking compliance with the order.
The officer had sought to expunge the remarks by Khattar in his annual performance appraisal report for 2016-17 and restoration of the overall grade of 9.92 as given by the Reviewing Authority.
On March 18, the division bench of Justices Rajiv Sharma and Kuldip Singh had said, “The remarks of the Accepting Officer and the grading of 9.00 given by the Accepting Authority are hereby set aside and the opinion given by the Reviewing Authority is restored. The grading of 9.92 given by the Reviewing Authority is also restored and will prevail upon the grading given by the Reporting Authority.”
The next day, Khemka had written to Chief Secretary D S Dhesi, seeking immediate compliance of the order, but it wasn’t done.
On June 13, Khemka wrote to Khattar, “As chief minister of the state, you are the commander-in-chief of the executive. It is your political and moral duty to ensure that the state fulfils the mandates cast upon it by the courts. Laxity, especially towards court orders, sends an implicit message that the high and mighty consider themselves above the rule of law. Moreover, because the order impugns your actions (as the Accepting Authority) and quashes them as illegal, it is your legal and moral duty to ensure that compliance of the order is met at the earliest.”
Chief Secretary D S Dhesi told The Indian Express that the state government has challenged the high court order in Supreme Court.