The Centre has moved the Delhi High Court against a CIC order asking it to inform whether IAS officer Ashok Khemka, known for cancelling Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra’s alleged illegal land deal in Gurgaon, was considered for the post of joint secretary in the Centre.
The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) in its plea has also challenged a single judge’s order upholding the January 2017 decision of the Central Information Commission (CIC).
The CIC in its order had directed DoPT to disclose whether the name of Khemka, an IAS officer of 1991 batch of the Haryana state cadre, was placed before the Civil Services Board (CSB) for deputation as joint secretary to Government of India under the Central Staffing Scheme of 2014.
The matter is expected to be heard by a bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and A K Chawla in July.
The appeal by the DoPT, moved through advocates Rahul Sharma and C K Bhatt, has claimed that the information sought by Khemka, also known for the numerous times he has been transferred, was exempted from the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
The plea also claimed that the information sought is held in fiduciary capacity by the DoPT and therefore, cannot be provided under the RTI Act.
However, this line of argument had not been accepted by the single judge, Justice Vibhu Bakhru, who last year had said that if the DoPT’s stand was accepted then any information held by any public authority would be exempted.