Ashok Khemka

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Ashok Khemka
Ashok Khemka - Kolkata 2016-10-07 8206.JPG
Born (1965-04-30) 30 April 1965 (age 57)
EducationB.Tech in Computer Science and Engineering

Ph.D in Computer Science

MBA in Business Administration and Finance

Master of Arts in Economics

Alma materIIT Kharagpur
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai
Indira Gandhi National Open University
Years active1993–present
EmployerGovernment of India
OrganizationIndian Administrative Service
Known forIAS officer who cancelled the mutation of Robert Vadra -DLF land deal.
AwardsS R Jindal Prize in 2011 for "Crusade against Corruption"

Ashok Khemka (अशोक खेमका) is an Indian civil service bureaucrat. He is an Indian Administrative Service officer of 1991 batch. He is best known for cancelling the mutation of Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra's illegal land deal in Gurgaon.[1][2][3] As of October 2021, he has been transferred 54 times in 29 years by state governments after he exposed corruption in the departments he was posted in.[4][5] He is a whistleblower of several scams that took place under Bhupinder Hooda's regime, including the Robert Vadra DLF land grab scam, Sonepat-Kharkhoda IMT land scam case and Garhi Sampla Uddar Gagan land scam. Ashok Khemka is Haryana's second-most transferred bureaucrat, after another retired IAS officer[6] Pradeep Kasni, who had been transferred 71 times in 35 years.[7]

Early life and education[edit]

Ashok Khemka was born in Kolkata, India. He was born in a lower middle class family. His father was a clerk in a jute family. He graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur in 1988 with a B.Tech degree in Computer Science Engineering and followed it up with a Ph.D in Computer Science from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai[8] and an MBA degree in Business Administration and Finance. Thereafter, he gave his IAS exams and got selected in the Haryana cadre. He also holds an MA Economics degree from IGNOU.

He is currently a degree candidate for Bachelor of Laws at Punjab University.


Khemka belongs to the 1991 batch IAS of the Haryana Cadre.[9] He has been repeatedly transferred by various state governments in his home cadre of Haryana after he exposed corruption in the departments he was posted in.[10][11]

Khemka was posted as Secretary to the Govt. of Haryana, Department of Archives and Archaeology on 4 April 2013.[12] He was also given the charge of DG Archives and Archaeology on 26 April 2013.[13] This was his 45th posting in his 20-year career excluding his 2 year training period.[13] In the previous month, he had exposed a deal that he thought to be untoward and had requested an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation. The government of Haryana refused this[clarification needed] and Bhiwani-based NGO filed PIL on the same scam.[citation needed]On 18 October 2013, CBI had registered a preliminary enquiry into the alleged irregularities in the purchase of wheat seeds in HSDC seeking registration of a case against officials of National Cooperative Consumers Federation and National Agriculture Cooperative Marketing Federation for selling seeds at inflated prices to HSDC.[14][15]

"And the transfer this time was quite humiliating. At 15:30, an officer of the rank of Under Secretary of the government, at least five levels below me, appeared with an order of the Principal Secretary of the Agriculture, appointing him as the MD of the Corporation and asked me to step down," Khemka told news channels.[12] Previously Ashok Khemka was Managing Director in Haryana Seeds Development Corporation.[12]

Chargesheets filed against Ashok Khemka[edit]

Two chargesheets[16][17] for Khemka have been filed, one of which accuses of failing his responsibilities at the Haryana Seed Development Corporation,[18] where Khemka had found corruption and requested for CBI inquiry. Further Khemka quoted that "I have reliably heard that 10 chargesheets will be filed against me on frivolous grounds along with 10 private complaints,".[19] The Haryana government was accused of misusing its authority to penalise Ashok Khemka.[20]

Transfers under Khattar regime[edit]

The transfers continued under the Manohar Lal Khattar-led Bharatiya Janata Party government which came to power in 2014. Khemka was made the transport commissioner in November 2014. But after he launched a drive against overloading and oversized goods vehicles, the truck owners went on strike. His moves to end long existing monopolies controlling private bus operations in the state by opening up private operations to Haryana's unemployed youth also provoked a strike by the state transport undertaking (STU) unions. He was transferred to the archaeology and museums department in April 2015.[21][22]

In October 2017, Khemka, as the principal secretary, department of social justice and women empowerment had a run-in with his own boss, minister Krishna Bedi over the latter allegedly misusing a department vehicle for over a year. He had also expressed objection to alleged special treatment being given to Khattar's personal staff on the eve of Diwali. In November, he was transferred as the principal secretary in the youth affairs and sports department.[23] In March 2019, he was transferred, for the 52nd time, to Science and Technology Department.[24]

Posting detail[edit]

As of March 2019, Khemka has been posted in 51 departments and is currently DG of Archives & Archaeology in Haryana state.[25]

Highlighted Land Deal corruption[edit]

Khemka highlighted land deal corruption in Gurgaon and around for conversion of commercial land. As per the report there is corruption between 20,000 crore (US$3 billion) to 350,000 crore (US$46 billion).[26] Khemka was most recently Haryana's Director-General of Land Consolidation and Land Records-cum-Inspector-General of Registration. During his 80-day stint in the department, Khemka had detected serious irregularities in land transactions involving transfer of panchayat land worth several hundred crores of rupees to newly created real estate companies.[27] Khemka was transferred on 11 October 2012 and he took action on the matter after his transfer. He claims he has been harassed and transferred 40 times in the last 21 years for merely doing his job.[28] As the Managing Director of Haryana Seeds Development Corporation Limited, Khemka exposed its irregularities in just five months as its head following which he was transferred on 4 April 2013 and was replaced by B. S. Duggal, a Deputy Secretary five ranks below him.[12]

Vadra Land Deal[edit]

The State Government constituted an Inquiry Committee of three senior IAS officers to nail Khemka on the cancellation of Vadra's land deal in village Sikhohpur (Gurgaon). Khemka responded to the report of the Inquiry Committee in his Comments to the State Government which is divided into 8 Chapters. The specific land deal of Robert Vadra is detailed in Chapter 6.[29]

Rao Inderjit Singh, a member of the Lok Sabha from Gurgaon has said that a detailed inquiry must be conducted to "substantiate or refute" the charges against Robert Vadra, whose business deals with real estate major DLF have been questioned by Ashok Khemka. He said that Mr Vadra's land dealings should be part of a larger investigation into alleged irregular practices in the governments appropriation and sale of nearly 1200 acres.[30]

Death threat[edit]

After raising concerns over the illegal land acquisition of Robert Vadra (Priyanka Gandhi's husband) Khemka alleged that he had received death threats. He had raised a red flag over suspicious land deals between Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra.[31]


He was awarded the S.R. Jindal Prize in 2011 for "Crusade against Corruption" with a cash prize of ₹10 Lakhs along with Sanjiv Chaturvedi for his efforts in exposing corruption in high places. He also received the Manjunath Shanmugam Trust Commendation on Public Works in 2009.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Officer with impeccable integrity". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012.
  2. ^ "Reward for honesty: Mental Torture, Mental Trauma, Mental Agony, Insult and Humiliation". U Said It ! Third Perspective by Civil Society. 15 November 2013.
  3. ^ "Ashok Khemka's Crime? Durga Shakti's Crime? Honesty !!". India Opines. Archived from the original on 16 December 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  4. ^ "IAS officer Ashok Khemka transferred for 52nd time in 27-year career".
  5. ^ "Unbequemer Beamter - Von dauernder Versetzung gefährdet". Der Spiegel. 15 April 2015.
  6. ^ elevated from Haryana Civil Service
  7. ^ "kasni retires today after 71 transfers in 35 years". Times Of India. 28 February 2018. Retrieved 22 February 2020.
  8. ^ "Who is Ashok Khemka, Whistleblower Khemka shifted 40 times in 21 years". Hindustan Times Portal. 16 October 2012. Archived from the original on 18 October 2012.
  9. ^ "Whistleblower Khemka shifted 40 times in 21 years". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 18 October 2012.
  10. ^ "Time to check the Khemka syndrome". The Hindu.
  11. ^ "I am not a quitter, will stay in the system: Ashok Khemka". NDTV. 11 April 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  12. ^ a b c d "Khemka shifted again as he exposes seedy deal". The Hindu.
  13. ^ a b c "Executive Record of Ashok Khemka". GOI. Archived from the original on 19 October 2012. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
  14. ^ "CBI begins inquiry into Ashok Khemka's complaint". The Economic Times. 19 October 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  15. ^ "CBI begins inquiry into Khemka's complaint on seed supply". NewsX. 18 October 2013. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  16. ^ "Haryana approves Khemka chargesheet, major penalty in offing". Zeenews. 27 September 2013.
  17. ^ "Robert Vadra back to haunt Ashok Khemka, chargesheeted again". One India Portal. 17 October 2013.
  18. ^ "Haryana govt gives the go ahead for charging Khemka in a case of seeds sales". IBN Live. 17 October 2013. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013.
  19. ^ "'10 chargesheets will be filed against me,' IAS officer Ashok Khemka to NDTV". NDTV. 19 October 2013.
  20. ^ "Haryana government is misusing its authority to penalise Ashok Khemka". The Economic Times. 19 October 2013.
  21. ^ {{cite news}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. ^ {{cite news}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  23. ^ {{cite news}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  24. ^ {{cite news}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  25. ^ "Complete Bio-Data Ashok Khemka". National Informatics Centre, Government of India Portal. Archived from the original on 19 October 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  26. ^ "IAS officer Ashok Khemka on his report on Robert Vadra land deals". NDTV News.
  27. ^ "Haryana IAS officer probing Vadra-DLF deal transferred". Zee News. 16 October 2012.
  28. ^ "Haryana IAS officer transferred". Times of India.
  29. ^ "Khemka stands his ground over report against Vadra". Yahoo with Hindustan Times News.
  30. ^ "Robert Vadra's land deal must be probed: Congress MP from Haryana". NDTV.
  31. ^ "Whistleblower Ashok Khemka gets fresh death threats, FIR lodged". India Today.

External links[edit]