New Delhi: Noted lawyer KTS Tulsi on Sunday dismissed as "high on rhetoric and low on facts" IAS officer Ashok Khemka`s "voluminous reply" submitted to Haryana government`s three-member inquiry committee to look into Robert Vadra-DLF land deal.
Haryana minister Randeep Singh Surjewala also sought to reject Khemka`s reply terming it "cacophony of allegations and sensationalisation by vested interests".
The reactions of Tulsi and Soorjewala a came day after media reports about Khemka`s allegation that Robert Vadra "falsified documents" for 3.53 acres of land in Gurgaon and "pocketed" large premium on a commercial colony license.
"The letter circulated to the media purporting to be the response of Khemka is high on rhetoric and low on facts and administrative propriety...Khemka forgets that his response necessarily has to be confined to the facts on record at the time of making order in the file," Tulsi, a former Solicitor General of the country said.
Maintaining that government took an "extra-ordinary step" to constitute a committee of three senior most Civil Servants to examine the matter in light of the relevant record and facts, Tulsi said, "the malafide intention of Khemka is writ large as he chooses to personally attack the integrity of two of the three senior most Civil Servants in the state."
"He may be suffering from some delusion that he is the only honest Civil Servant," the lawyer added.
Tulsi said that the committee came to four conclusions after examining the record contained in the relevant file.
"There was no under-valuation with regard to the controversial deal with DLF. Khemka attacked beyond his authority vested in law by cancelling the mutation of land," he said, while quoting from the committee conclusions.
Tulsi said Khemka seems to have misused the power of the state government as he had no authority to invoke power under the Punjab Land Revenue Act.
"The cancellation of mutation on October 14, three days after he stood transferred, was administratively improper," he said.
Tulsi argues that the very fact that the Civil Servant
refuses to call it quits, shows that his action is "tainted with malafide" from the very beginning.
"Khemka should also be mindful of the administrative propriety and administrative and judicial hierarchy, after all he passed a quasi-judicial order keeping in view the sensation he created at the time of transfer (which was by the order of the High Court)," he said.
Speaking separately, Soorjewala said that the officer was transferred after a division bench of the High Court had issued bailable warrants against him in a matter last year.
"Khemka was transfered on October 11. He, then passed an order on October 12 to find out undervaluation of the properties owned by Vadra and his company. In the order, he asked them produce all the documents to him by October 25.
"On October 15, he passed an order cancelling mutation of a land land sold by Skylight Hospitality company owned by Vadra to DLF limited. He raked up the issue after transfer and not before. So his charge that he was transferred due to this is motivated, fallacious and completely untrue," he said.
In his "voluminous reply" submitted to Haryana government`s three-member enquiry committee set up in October last to look into Vadra-DLF deal, Khemka is understood to have alleged that Vadra, who is Congress President Sonia Gandhi`s son-in-law, executed a series of "sham transactions" for 3.53 acres of land in Shikohpur village of Gurgaon.
Vadra "pocketed" a huge premium on a commercial license through money that he could account for, Khemka alleged.
The IAS officer alleged that the Haryana`s Department of Town and Country Planning (DTCP) "ignored rules and regulations to allow crony capitalists operating as middlemen to flourish and appropriate market premium of a license."
"The DTCP aided Vadra in making these sham transactions," he alleged.
While Khemka`s reply has gone public, the officer, on being approached had said, "I will not speak to the media on this issue."