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HSWC recruitment row: IAS officer Khemka, MD booked in cross complaints

High drama prevailed in Panchkula when Khemka brought to notice of Home Minister Anil Vij that cops were not lodging his complaint against Verma

Our Bureau, PTI Firozabad Published 27.04.22, 01:51 AM
Ashok Khemka

Ashok Khemka anandabazar.com

The Haryana Police on Tuesday booked senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka, Haryana State Warehousing Corporation Managing Director Sanjeev Verma and some others on cross complaints from the two sides in relation to over a decade old matter.

The complaint lodged by 1991-batch IAS officer Khemka, presently an Additional Chief Secretary rank officer, has alleged a false and mischievous complaint against him (Khemka) at HSWC MD and IAS officer Sanjeev Verma's behest pertaining to the over 12-year-old matter.

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On the other hand, Panchkula police on Tuesday also booked Khemka on the basis of a complaint given on April 20 by a secretary of HSWC MD Sanjeev Verma, regarding alleged irregularities in recruitment of two officials in the warehousing corporation during Khemka's tenure as its MD over 12 years ago.

High drama prevailed in Panchkula when Khemka brought to the notice of Home Minister Anil Vij that the police was not lodging his complaint against Verma.

Vij telephoned Khemka and asked him to come to the office of DCP, Panchkula where Commissioner of Police Dr Hanif Qureshi also rushed after a function in Panchkula, in which State Governor was also present.

Speaking to reporters after holding a 30-minute closed door meeting with Panchkula DCP Mohit Handa and the Commissioner of Police, Vij said that he directed that FIR should be lodged on the basis of Khemka's complaint.

"I had got message from Khemka that he had given complaint, but FIR was not being registered. FIRs are also registered on the basis of complaints given by common citizens and if an FIR is not registered on the complaint given by an IAS officer (Khemka), that cannot happen," said Vij as he pulled up the top brass of Panchkula police.

Hours later, a case was lodged on the complaint filed by Khemka against Sanjeev Verma, MD, and some others.

The case was lodged under various Indian Penal Code (IPC)sections including 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 167 (public servant framing an incorrect document with intent to cause injury), 182 (false information with the intent to cause public servant to use lawful power to the injury of another person), 195-A (threatening any person to give false evidence) and 211 (false charge of offence made with intent to injure).

However, shortly before that on the complaint of Secretary to MD, HSWC, a case was registered against Khemka and some others for allegedly making some appointments in arbitrary and illegal manner by ignoring rules and regulations.

The case was lodged under section 420 of the IPC and relevant provision of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Panchkula Police Commissioner Hanif Qureshi said that before police proceeds with investigation in these cases, sanction of the competent government authority will be taken as the IAS officers are involved.

Sanjeev Verma, a 2004 batch IAS officer, had recommended the registration of a case against Khemka, for alleged irregularities in appointments made in the warehousing corporation during Khemka's tenure as its MD.

A complaint had been made by HSWC for registration of a criminal case against the then MD Khemka, a retired manager and some other officials.

The alleged irregularities pertain to appointments made during Khemka's tenure as MD from July 2008 to April 2010.

Notably, Verma had three weeks ago assumed charge as the MD of the corporation. On April 11, he received a legal notice from one Ravinder, who has filed several complaints against Khemka on different platforms in the past.

On receiving the legal notice from Ravinder on April 11, Verma constituted a committee on April 15 for a fact-finding inquiry into his allegations and three days later after finding alleged irregularities in the selection made during Khemka's tenure, on April 20, the complaint was made to the police.

After this, Khemka gave a complaint to Panchkula Police Commissioner against Sanjeev Verma, Ravinder and some others.

Khemka alleged that on the direction of Sanjeev Verma, a false and mischievous complaint dated April 20 has been filed with SHO, Sector 5, Panchkula.

"The allegation made in the complaint are an act of personal vendetta on the part of Sanjeev Verma and Ravinder Kumar. Both of them nurse personal malice against me because of certain actions taken by me in official capacity in the past, adversely affecting them," Khemka alleged.

Khemka said Sanjeev Verma holds a personal grudge against him because he had referred some of his matter to the Chief Secretary in 2020 "in official capacity when he was my subordinate".

"Sanjeev Verma acting in conspiracy with Ravinder Kumar has misused his official position to file a false complaint in an act of revenge and with a corrupt motive," alleged Khemka.

Regarding the allegations in the complaint against him, Khemka said "they are deliberate with malicious intent to frame me wrongly.."

Khemka said the specific allegation of the complaint that he (Khemka) being one of the members of the Executive Committee being Managing Director (HSWC earlier) had conducted the interview along with other officer and prepared the merit list of the selected candidates and made appointments in an illegal and arbitrary way by ignoring the rules and regulations "is patently false and against official records".

The Executive Committee of HSWC under the chairmanship of then Principal secretary Agriculture conducted the selections. The committee is a statutory body under Section 25 of the Warehousing Act, 1962, a central act, said Khemka.

Khemka mentioned that a duly constituted Screening Committee had shortlisted the eligible candidates as per the eligibility criteria against the 10 advertised vacancies of Manager Grade-I.

Khemka said he was neither a part of this Screening Committee, nor did he make any changes to the recommendations made by the Screening Committee.

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