Here’s why everyone is talking about IAS officer Puja Khedkar who allegedly cleared UPSC with fake disability, caste certificates

Controversy surrounds IAS Pooja Khedkar for allegedly submitting fake disability and OBC certificates to secure her IAS position
Dr Puja Khedkar
Dr Puja KhedkarSourced

An Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, Puja Khedkar, has allegedly used fake disability and caste certificates to clear the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exam, states a report by The New Indian Express.

According to the report, Khedkar was posted as a trainee IAS officer in Pune. The claims came to light after a Right to Information (RTI) activist Vijay Kumbhar shared a list of documents presented to the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) indicating that she took the UPSC exam under the OBC and visually impaired categories and submitted mental illness certificate to gain her IAS post.

Khedkar’s Other Backward Class (OBC) Non-Creamy application is questionable due to her father’s wealth, which exceeds the creamy layer certificate income limit of Rs 8 lakh. Puja Khedkar is the daughter of Dilip Khedkar, a former civil servant who contested the 2024 Lok Sabha election and was defeated. His estimated conservative wealth is Rs 40 crore and he has an annual income of Rs 49 lakh. In reality, his total value is estimated to be Rs 100 crore, as reported by The New Indian Express.

Reports also state that she faked her disability certificate. According to sources following her selection, All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) Delhi called her for disability certificate verification, which she avoided multiple times, citing COVID-19 and other reasons.

Khedkar reportedly provided a fake disability report from a local hospital and began her role as a probationary officer in Pune. Despite UPSC's challenge to her certificate, she allegedly used political influence to receive her joining order.

She came into the limelight when she was transferred to Wasim as the supernumerary assistant collector after her unauthorised use of power during her probationary period. After starting her role, she allegedly made numerous demands, including a VIP number plate for an Audi car provided by a contractor, which she used for government work against regulations, and placed a red beacon on it to assert her IAS status, states a report by the Times of India.

She reportedly took over the Pune collector's private chamber, demanded staff, leading to a complaint by the state chief secretary, and was subsequently transferred to Wasim in Vidarbha.

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