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CBI to lodge preliminary probe into HSDC seed scam

CBI has decided to register a preliminary inquiry into the alleged wheat seed scam in Haryana after a nearly six-month probe following a complaint by senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka.

‘For an in-depth probe into the matter, the CBI is in process to register the preliminary enquiry within a day or two,’ CBI’s Chandigarh unit SP, Vineet Brij Lal said on Thursday.

A month before being shunted out of Haryana Seed Development Corporation (HSDC), whistleblower IAS officer had written to the CBI and sought filing of a criminal case against officials of two government agencies for their alleged role in a seeds scam and for causing loss to the public exchequer.

In a letter on March 4, Khemka had alleged that National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation and National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation officials had supplied seeds at higher rates to HSDC, causing a loss of Rs 5 crore to the state exchequer.

However, officials of both the agencies have maintained that no rules had been bent and due procedures were followed in the supply to the HSDC.

Meanwhile, Haryana government is reportedly preparing to serve a second charge sheet against Khemka for the alleged low sale of wheat seeds during his tenure in HSDC as its Managing Director from 15 October, 2012 to 4 April this year.

However, senior Haryana government officials did not comment on the issue. Neither was Khemka contactable despite repeated attempts.

Three weeks back, the Haryana government had decided to charge sheet Khemka, who claims to have been transferred more than 40 times during his career so far, for alleged administrative misconduct in cancelling the mutation of the land deal between businessman Robert Vadra and real estate major DLF in Gurgaon.
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