Senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka
Senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka

Major relief for Khemka, HC expunges negative comments from his ACR

ANI | Updated: Mar 18, 2019 20:29 IST

Chandigarh (Haryana) [India], Mar 18 (ANI): In a major relief to senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday directed Haryana government to remove negative comments from the Annual Confidential Report (ACR) of the bureaucrat.
“We are of the considered view that the remarks recorded by the Accepting Authority are liable to be expunged. The Accepting Authority has recorded that Reviewing Authority has differed with the Reporting Authority but not given any reason for the same,” a division bench of Justices Rajiv Sharma and Kuldip Singh said.
The bench had reserved its verdict on March 12 over a plea filed by Khemka, alleging that Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had reduced his rating in the appraisal report and hence, seeking its removal.
“The severe constraints in which an honest officer works under the political leadership are well known. There are so many pulls and pressures and the officer has to work according to the rules despite all these pulls and pressures,” the bench observed.
The IAS officer had alleged that Khattar made negative remarks about him in the ACR and hence, lowering his chances for a promotion.
Khemka, who is the Principal Secretary, Sports Department, had approached the court for the removal of the remarks made by Chief Minister Khattar.
In Khemka’s report, the Chief Secretary DS Dhesi (Reporting Authority) rated him 8.22. Next, state Sports Minister Anil Vij (Reviewing Authority) awarded a rating of 9.92. However, when the report was sent to Chief Minister Khattar (Accepting Authority) gave him a rating of 9 out of 10.
The 1991-batch-IAS officer had reportedly cancelled a land deal between Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, and realty developer DLF in 2012, and that is when he shot to the limelight. (ANI)