Did Puja Khedkar, a trainee IAS officer, fabricate a disability? enormous dispute regarding selection

Puja Khedkar, a probationary IAS officer, has been embroiled in controversy following her transfer from Pune due to allegations of power misuse. This situation has brought to light irregularities in her claims regarding disabilities and her OBC non-creamy layer status during her civil services examination process.

Khedkar had claimed to be visually impaired and mentally ill in her affidavit to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which allowed her to receive special concessions. Despite her low examination marks, these concessions helped her secure an All India Rank (AIR) of 821. However, she repeatedly refused to undergo the mandatory medical tests required by the UPSC to verify her disabilities, missing appointments at AIIMS and Safdarjung Hospital multiple times. She provided an external MRI report, which was initially rejected by the UPSC but later accepted, confirming her IAS appointment.

Further scrutiny revealed inconsistencies in her claims about OBC's non-creamy layer status, as her father, Dilip Khedkar, had declared assets worth Rs 40 crore. This raised questions about her eligibility for the OBC non-creamy layer status, which is intended for economically disadvantaged sections.

The controversy gained traction after the Maharashtra government transferred her from Pune to Washim due to complaints of power misuse. It was reported that Khedkar had made several demands for privileges not allowed to probationary officers and used her private Audi car with a red-blue beacon light and a VIP number plate. Her father, a retired administrative officer, allegedly pressured the District Collector's office to fulfill her demands.

RTI activist Vijay Kumbhar highlighted these discrepancies, questioning how Khedkar qualified for the IAS given the inconsistencies in her claims and her refusal to undergo the necessary medical examinations.

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