WhatsApp chat reveals IAS officer's demands: House, car, separate office

Probationary IAS officer Puja Khedkar, transferred over alleged misuse of power, demanded various privileges even before taking charge.
WhatsApp chat reveals IAS officer's demands: House, car, separate office

Puja Khedkar, the Maharashtra probationary IAS officer who was transferred over alleged misuse of power, demanded a separate office, a car, and a house for herself, details of her WhatsApp chat with the Pune District Collector revealed. The officer made these demands before assuming charge as Assistant Collector in Pune.

The District Collector had flagged these unusual demands to the Chief Secretary. In his report, he suggested that it would be inappropriate to continue Khedkar’s training in Pune and mentioned that it might lead to administrative complications.

The officer was offered her own chamber. However, she declined it due to the lack of an attached bathroom, the Collector’s report stated. Before joining, Khedkar visited the office with her father, Dilip Khedkar, and together they proposed to use a VIP hall located next to the mining department as her cabin.

The probationary officer was told that she was not entitled to these facilities on probation, and accommodation will be provided to her.

Following the District Collector's report, Khedkar, the 2023-batch IAS officer, has been transferred to Washim district for the completion of her training. She will serve there as a 'supernumerary Assistant Collector' till July 30, 2025.

She also used her private Audi car with a red-blue beacon light and VIP number plate and had also installed a 'Maharashtra government' board on her private car.

Following the controversy, a scrutiny of her appointment documents revealed that she allegedly submitted fake disability and Other Backward Class (OBC) certificates to clear the civil services examination.

Khedkar appeared for the civil services exam under the OBC and visually impaired categories. She also submitted a mental illness certificate. In April 2022, she was asked to undergo medical tests at AIIMS to verify her disabilities. However, Khedkar refused to attend these examinations on six different occasions, an official stated.

Later, an MRI scanning certificate she produced from a private facility, accepted and confirmed her IAS appointment.

Inconsistencies were also found in Khedkar's claims to OBC non-creamy layer status. According to the election affidavit of her father, Dilip Khedkar, who contested the 2024 Lok Sabha polls on a Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi ticket, his wealth was shown to be worth Rs 40 crore. This raised questions about her OBC qualification as well.

Source: India Today

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