- IAS officer transferred by Haryana government
- He has been transferred over 50 times in 28-year-old career
- Had shot to fame over cancelling land deal involving Robert Vadra
Haryana's most transferred officer, Ashok Khemka, has been shifted again. Principal Secretary in Haryana's Science and Technology Department, Mr Khemka was transferred on Wednesday to the Archives, Archaeology and Museums Department by the new state government, which took charge last month after elections. This is his 53rd transfer in a 28-year-long career. The BJP-JJP (Jannayak Janata Party) government also ordered the transfer of 13 other Indian Administrative Service or IAS officers.
"Transferred again. Back to square one. Constitution Day was celebrated yesterday. Today, orders of the Supreme Court and rules were broken once again. Some will be pleased. The reward for honesty is humiliation," Mr Khemka tweeted in Hindi.
The 1991-batch officer had been transferred in March to the Science and Technology Department from the Sports and Youth Affairs Department, where he spent 15 months.
This was the first major administrative reshuffle ordered by the Manohar Lal Khattar government after it came to power about a month ago.
Mr Khemka shot to fame in 2012 after he cancelled a controversial land deal involving Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra. The Congress ruled Haryana at the time.
The 53-year-old bureaucrat has been repeated transferred during his nearly three decade-long career, not just during the Congress regime but even after the BJP took power in 2014.
He had alleged that he was persecuted by the Congress government after he cancelled the sale of 3.5 acres of land in Gurgaon near Delhi by Mr Vadra's company to real estate giant DLF for Rs. 58 crore. An auditor's report had said the Congress bent rules to enable windfall gains for Mr Vadra's company.
The report was ignored by the Bhupinder Hooda-led government, which set up its own inquiry and then charge-sheeted Mr Khemka for "causing damage to Mr Vadra's reputation" and "illegally" cancelling the deal.
After the Manohar Lal Khattar government came to power, the ruling BJP praised Mr Khemka as an upright officer and backed him. In 2015, the government overturned its predecessor's orders and dropped a charge-sheet for "professional misconduct" filed against him.
But when he was transferred again within months - amid reports of his sharp differences with a minister - Mr Khemka tweeted: "Tried hard to address corruption and bring reforms in Transport despite severe limitations and entrenched interests. Moment is truly painful."