Who Is Puja Khedkar, Trainee IAS Officer At Center Of Controversy For Making ‘VIP Demands’, Using Beacon On Her Audi

A 2023-batch IAS officer,  Khedkar faces multiple allegations, including lying about her OBC status, and using a siren (a red beacon reserved for VIP government vehicles) and a ‘Government of Maharashtra’ for her private vehicle, a luxury Audi sedan.

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Who Is Puja Khedkar, Trainee IAS Officer At Center Of Controversy For Making 'VIP Demands', Using Beacon On Her Audi
Who Is Puja Khedkar, Trainee IAS Officer At Center Of Controversy For Making ‘VIP Demands’, Using Beacon On Her Audi

Pooja Khedkar, an officer in the 2022 batch of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) from Maharashtra, has found herself embroiled in a controversy surrounding accusations of overstepping her authority. The issue revolves around allegations that she misused a personal Audi car with VIP registration and emergency lights, bearing the ‘Maharashtra Government’ label, raising concerns about its compliance with official regulations. Recently transferred from Pune to Washim due to complaints of power misuse, Khedkar, coming from a lineage dedicated to public service, secured the 841st rank in the UPSC examination. However, there are claims that she presented counterfeit certificates, including those related to disability and category, to pass the rigorous all-India exam. Allegedly, she took the test under the other backward class (OBC) and visually impaired categories, alongside submitting a mental illness certificate as part of her documentation.

Who is Puja Khedkar

Khedkar, an IAS trainee officer from the 2023 batch, caused a stir by flaunting unauthorized perks. She secured rank 821 (PWD-5) in the UPSC exams. She created a controversy after using red-blue beacon lights on her private vehicle, a VIP number plate, letter pads, a nameplate, a separate office chamber, and dedicated staff, despite not being entitled to these privileges as a probationer, according to reports.

Puja Khedkar Controversy 

  • Khedkar was using her private Audi – a luxury sedan – with a “Government of Maharashtra” sticker and a red-blue beacon in Pune. Even before joining as an assistant collector, she had demanded an official car with a VIP number plate, accommodation, an official chamber with adequate staff, and a constable. A trainee officer is not entitled to these privileges.
  • There are also speculations that she also occupied the ante-chamber of Additional District Collector Ajay More without his knowledge. As per rules, a trainee is not provided with the above amenities and is required to be appointed as a gazetted officer first.
  • Puja is the daughter of former civil servant Dilip Khedkar, who served as Commissioner of the Pollution Department. Her maternal grandfather, Jagannathrao Budhwant, also had a renowned career as an IAS officer.
  • An official said in April 2022, she was asked to report at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi for verification of her disability certificate but she did not citing a Covid-19 infection.
  • Her father Dilip Khedkar, a former state government officer, while contesting the Lok Sabha elections, had reportedly declared his property valued at Rs 40 crore. However, Puja appeared for the civil services exam under the OBC category, where the creamy layer certificate limitation is an annual parental income of Rs 8 lakh.

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