Haryana IAS officer Ashok Khemka, at the centre of the storm for putting on record alleged irregularities in land deals involving Robert Vadra, son-in-law of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, believes that if all bureaucrats worked as “servants of the public,” corruption scandals like the 2G spectrum allocation or the coal block scam would not have happened.
Speaking in his “personal capacity” at The Indian Express’s Idea Exchange programme here on Thursday, Khemka said: “I have a very sincere and firm belief that if bureaucrats were really public servants, there would have been no 2G or coal mine scam. Out of every 100 bureaucrats, 10 are always ready to join the queue (for favours) and it is enough if you pick up (your officer) from them.”
The IAS officer said it was important to include a conflict-of-interest and disclosure clause for public servants. “It is very important that there should be a law like in the Companies Act. When you join a company and become a director, you have to give a declaration of any conflict of interest you have. If that statement is wrong, you are liable for action under the Companies Act. In public service you have no such law.”
Khemka said he was opposed to the simplistic categorisation of politicians as villains: “…I have a high regard for politicians. I think there are at least 20 politicians I can name off the hat…who are better in intellect, integrity and sincerity to their jobs than any bureaucrat on or across my radar in all my years of service.”