CHANDIGARH: Ashok Khemka is in trouble, and this time with the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Justice Ranjit Singh has directed the Registry to issue notice to Haryana’s senior IAS officer to elaborate why he referred to the Court by name in electronic and print media. He was transferred three days after he ordered an inquiry into Robert Vadra-DLF land dealings.
Justice Ranjit Singh said, “The officer had referred to this Court by name, while appearing on some electronic media or while the issue was covered in the newspapers. Let notice be issued to the officer as to why and in what authority he had referred to this court by name, while making reference to the order passed and whether it would lead to violation of any norms or would be of the nature of contempt. He has been given time till December 19 for the purpose.
Elaborating on the reasons behind issuing the notice to Khemka, Justice Ranjit Singh said, “In this case, the Special Collector (Khemka) had appeared before the Court on October 1 and had expressed difficulty in not deciding the matter, despite a direction issued by this court.
“Finding the explanation to be reasonable, the respondent government was required to take a decision to give the charge of this appointment to an officer, who could competently exercise such powers of special collector. Subsequently, it revealed that on the basis of this order, the Special Collector has challenged some action of the government in directing his transfer from the appointment held by him.
This would be an issue between the officer and the government. But the officer had referred to this court by name while appearing on some electronic media or while the issue was covered in the newspapers.”
The case is about surplus land and was brought before the High Court by one Jaibhagwan.