‘Harassed’ Khemka gets compensated

‘Harassed’ Khemka gets compensated

By ARVIND CHHABRA | CHANDIGARH | 21 November, 2015
The Haryana government may have withdrawn the charge-sheet of IAS officer Ashok Khemka, but Khemka continues to face harassment. Officials are denying him information even under the Right to Information (RTI) Act and even the appeal that he filed against denial of information has been allegedly destroyed.
For all this “harassment and financial detriment suffered by him in his efforts to obtain information”, the Haryana State Information Commission last week directed the state to pay him a compensation of Rs 5,000. The commission also issued a show-cause notice to authorities in the agriculture department asking them to explain reasons for the delay and other “lapses” in furnishing information. The information pertained to the seeds scam highlighted by Khemka over two years ago. The CBI had in 2013 registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) after Khemka alleged that the National Cooperative Consumer Federation (NCCF) and National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) had caused loss to the state exchequer by supplying seeds at higher rates to the Haryana Seeds Development Corporation (HSDC). Khemka had sought some information under the RTI Act from the Haryana State Seed Certification Agency. However, the authorities rejected his application, saying they had been advised by their superiors not to share the information. Khemka claimed that the same information was being “illegally shared” with the co-accused companies while it was being denied to him.

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