Let Maharashtra chief secretary probe allegations against IAS officer Khedkar: Sena MP

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Mumbai, Jul 11 (PTI) Shiv Sena MP Milind Deora on Thursday demanded that Maharashtra Chief Secretary Sujata Saunik conduct a comprehensive and impartial investigation into allegations against controversial probationary IAS officer Puja Khedkar.

Those lacking merit and ethics are not fit to hold important public offices, emphasised the Rajya Sabha member from the ruling Shiv Sena.

The allegations against Khedkar are a serious reputational hazard to the prestigious Indian Administrative Service (IAS), the former Union minister said.

"Are you in government to serve or due to a sense of entitlement? I urge Maharashtra's Chief Secretary to conduct a comprehensive & impartial investigation into these allegations without delay," said Deora.

"Ensuring justice & preserving public trust in our administrative service is crucial. UPSC is known for producing high-caliber officers for #PublicService. Those lacking merit & ethics are not fit to hold important public offices," he said in a post on X.

The 32-year-old probationary IAS officer was transferred from Pune to Washim district in the Vidarbha region before the completion of her training after she kicked up a controversy with demands such as a separate cabin and staff.

On Thursday, she took charge as an assistant collector at the Washim district collectorate.

There are also allegations that Khedkar misused the disability provision and Other Backward Class quota to secure a position in the elite service.

Meanwhile, the Centre on Thursday constituted a single-member committee "to verify the candidature" of Khedkar.

In a statement, the Centre said the probe would be conducted by an additional secretary-rank officer to verify the candidature claims and other details of the 2023 batch officer, who has been allotted the Maharashtra cadre.

She has been under intense scrutiny for allegedly manipulating benefits under the physical disabilities category and OBC quota to secure her position in the elite civil service. PTI PR RSY