IAS Officer Allegedly used FAKE Certificates to secure seat, has wealth over 100 Crore

Dr. Pooja Khedkar, a 2022 batch IAS officer of the Maharashtra cadre, has become embroiled in a significant controversy involving allegations of submitting fraudulent disability and Other Backward Class (OBC) certificates to secure her prestigious position in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).

According to documents presented to the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), Dr. Khedkar appeared for the UPSC exam under the OBC and visually impaired categories. Furthermore, she submitted a mental illness certificate to the UPSC to facilitate her IAS appointment.

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Post-selection, Dr. Khedkar was summoned by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi for verification of her disability certificate. She, however, declined to attend the medical test at AIIMS, citing a COVID-19 infection in April 2022. Despite being called five more times for verification, she continued to refuse, providing various reasons each time. Subsequently, she allegedly submitted a fraudulent disability verification report from a local private hospital and proceeded to join as a probationary officer in Pune.

The UPSC contested her submitted certificate in CAT, but despite this challenge, Dr. Khedkar reportedly received her joining order through alleged political influence. After her appointment, Dr. Khedkar made several contentious demands, including requesting a VIP number plate for an Audi car, reportedly provided by a contractor. This action violated service rules, as officers are prohibited from using private contractor vehicles for government work. Nonetheless, she allegedly bypassed this regulation using her influence. Additionally, she placed a red beacon on the Audi to signify her status as an IAS officer.

Misuse of Power and Transfer

Dr. Khedkar’s alleged misuse of power did not end there. She reportedly commandeered the Pune collector’s private chamber, asserting her entitlement as an IAS officer. She also demanded a peon and other staff members, which led to a formal complaint lodged against her by the state chief secretary. Consequently, the government transferred her from Pune to Wasim in Vidarbha. Notably, according to regulations, she should not have been posted in her home district of Pune initially, but she allegedly secured that posting through political connections.

Dr. Khedkar’s eligibility under the OBC category has also come under scrutiny. The creamy layer certificate limitation for OBC candidates is an annual parental income of Rs 8 lakh. However, her father, Dilip Khedkar, a retired senior Maharashtra government officer, has an estimated conservative wealth of Rs 40 crore and an annual income of Rs 49 lakh. In reality, his total asset value is estimated to exceed Rs 100 crore.

Adding to the controversy, Mr. Khedkar recently contested the Lok Sabha election as a candidate of Prakash Ambedkar’s Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi, receiving over 15,000 votes. Both father and daughter have remained unavailable for comment amid these allegations and ongoing investigations.

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