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Acche Din Finally! NAMO Busts Den Of Corruption In Income-Tax Dept And Sacks Top IRS Officers For Harassing Taxpayers

Jayant-Sinha

The Narendra Modi Government has sent a bone-chilling warning to all income-tax officers that they will have to pay a steep price if they continue with their nefarious activities of harassing taxpayers with the illicit objective of extorting money from them.

It may be recalled that in just the past few weeks, several officials of the high rank of Chief Commissioner of Income-tax were caught red-handed by the CBI for extorting money from hapless taxpayers on the threat of launching bogus cases against them.

After Sailendra Mamidi and Anil Goel, both high-ranking Chief Commissioners of Income-tax, Santosh Jangre, the Joint Commissioner of Income-tax, Mumbai, was arrested by the CBI for alleged corruption (See Despite “Anti-Corruption Pledge”, Income-Tax Dept Remains Den Of Corruption. After Two CCsIT, JCIT Held For Corruption).

Unfortunately, the law is on the side of the accused. The Supreme Court has ruled in P. Satyanarayana Murthy vs. Dist. Inspector of Police that “proof of demand of illegal gratification” is essential for prosecution of the accused. In the absence of definitive proof of demand of a bribe, the accused walk away scot-free. The fact that they are caught red-handed with the bribe hidden deep in their pockets is irrelevant, the Supreme Court has ruled.

Further, the legal process takes several decades to reach finality and the accused are able to take advantage of the delay to destroy incriminating evidence.

Fortunately, the Government has decided to not wait for the legal process to run its tortuous course. Instead, it has dismissed the accused officers from service.

The press release issued by the Government reads as follows:

“There is a general perception that no action is taken against the defaulting tax officials for their non performance as well as in case of harassing the tax assesses among others. The present Government has taken various steps to change this perception following the principle of good governance. After the present Government took over two years back, it has taken strict action against such revenue officers/officials in order to fix their accountability.

For the first time, 33 officers / officials of the Revenue Services, including seven Group ‘A’ officers, have been prematurely retired for non-performance under Rule 56(j) of CCS (Pension) Rules. Further, 72 officers / officials have been dismissed including six Group ‘A’ officers, in other departmental/ disciplinary actions in the last two years.”

The names of the officers who have been dismissed have not been revealed.

Jayant Sinha, the Union Minister of State for Finance, also announced this news on twitter:

Several taxpayers welcomed the news with a sigh of relief:

However, a few taxpayers were skeptical that the belated move by the Government could be yet another “joomla” or eyewash.

just 33? This is like emptying out the chennai floods with a teacup” one harassed taxpayer said.

Be that as it may, the sincerity of the Government in cleaning up the Augean stables will be shown when several hundreds more corrupt and incompetent officers of the income-tax department are summarily dismissed from service!


48 comments on “Acche Din Finally! NAMO Busts Den Of Corruption In Income-Tax Dept And Sacks Top IRS Officers For Harassing Taxpayers
  1. Surrender K Singal says:

    Let that continue for incumbents to keep away from such unwanted non-tolerable activities for harassing Tax Payers

  2. vswami says:

    Offhand

    The write-up recently displayed on the website of Taxguru @http://taxguru.in/income-tax/ground-level-difficulties-faced-assessee-income-tax-department.html makes for a bizarre reading.

    The field reality ,obstinately and obsessively continuing to obtain as ever before, it is noted,virtually flies in the face (or teeth!)of the stern warnings given by the government / its highest executive authorities. All the more disparaging is that even the severe strictures repeatedly passed by the courts in the same vein do not seem to have had any notable salutary effect, even remotely.

    Do not such repetitive instances bear on the sleeves that the steps taken and remedial measures conceived of and being resorted to are far from being adequate to meet the expectations of the genuine and honest taxpayers?

  3. CH TRIPATI PATRA says:

    The department has been sending letters to the non-filers of income tax return of earlier years. But there is no mechanism for filing of returns which were couldn’t filled either knowingly or unknowingly. So CBDT should insert special provision for filling of return in connection with the letter issued to the non fillers. It will generate more revenue for the exchequer.

  4. I am unable to understand what plan the Income Tax Department has to increase the tax base. It is vary obvious that people earning more than Rs. 3.00 lacs are much more in numbers than mere 4 crore returns that are being filed. Those who are earning and not paying taxes are moving happily in the society and those paying honestly are embarrassed for being honest, since the IT Officials are harassing them only. Finance Ministry should make the IT Department accountable for ensuring equitable and just implementation of tax law with in the jurisdiction of each and every IT officer.

    • b.s.waghela says:

      Income tax Officers and Inspectors are not doing shop-to-shop and house-to-house survey to add new assessees and detect evasion of tax. They are busy playing computer card games in their air-conditioned chambers. CBDT should fix quota for each officer and those who fail to achieve target should be punished. Last year such quota was given to each CCIT but nothing happened and no one was punished. Department is running on paper work only.

  5. b.s.waghela says:

    This is not the First Time. In 1975 (during Emergency period) Rule 56(j) of FR was freely used and hundreds of Central Govt. servants were Removed from service. In some cases it was used in 1985/86. Since then it was forgotten. Now the situation is that most of the Officers have not heard of any such Rule and those who have heard it do not know in which book this Rule is to be found. In all the Central Govt. departments committees of honest officers should be formed who will Review all the cases on Quarterly basis for the purposes of this Rule.

  6. Kumar says:

    First time action has been taken against income tax service officers who are epitome of corruption in India. This govt is really serious and first time since independence such excellent action is being taken where it is needed most.

  7. CH TRIPATI PATRA says:

    Sir

    Modi Govt. has enhanced the monetary limit of audit u/s. 44AB to Rs. 2 crore. No one will get benefit for this enhancement as it is very difficult to get net profit @ 8% on sales turnover. The net profit ratio u/s. 44AD is not changed since its introduction. So the Finance Minister should have reduce the net profit ratio to 5% on sales turnover instead of 8% u/s 44AD of I.T.Act. Because there is no such business which will generate net profit @ 8% on sales in the present scenario. Also Hon’ble Finance Minister should allow salary & commission to working partners & interest on partner’s capital from the net profit. The new section 44ADA which introduced in recent budget for the professionals & specified assesse will not attractive as the declaration of net income @ 50% on gross receipt is high & excessive. So Hon’ble Finance Minister should bring down the profit ratio to 30% or the recommendation of Maheswari Committee should be accepted.

  8. S.Vijayaraghavan says:

    I don’t think Tax Officials alone are responsible for this state of affairs. Harassment of officials is different. I am not going into it.
    Assessing people also offering benefits to officials to accept their faulty returns.
    All this are due to heavy rate of Tax. 40% to 50% tax makes people to hide the actual turnover and profits.Business people also I dont blame. By their hard work and investments in the business they get profits. They naturally dont want to share the profit by way of tax because if any loss comes Govt. is not going to help them.
    All these problems of cycle can be set right only by gross reduction in the tax rates and enthuse people to show their correct income and profit. This will also make them to reduce the black money and to make them to serve the Nation honestly.
    These are not new. Rev.Rajaji preached for this long back say about six decades back. Govt. should think over it. We cannot change the minds of officials or business people mere by giving them punishment. The root cause should be closed

    • b.s.waghela says:

      Vijayraghavan says that IT rate of 40/50 % is very high. It appears that he is not an Incometax Assessee. Maximum rate of IT is 30% and added to this Cess @ 3.50 % rate works out to 31.05 %. Considering first two slabs upto Rs. 8 lakhs income, effective rate is less than 30%. Once upon a time when Morarji Desai was the Finance Minister, maximum IT rate was 70 % , and to this surcharge, special surcharge, supertax + two surchages were added. There were Annuity deposit, CDS, Wealthtax too. His comments are not based on facts , and they are befitting tax evaders. There is case for increasing rate of 30 %.

  9. b.s.waghela says:

    I am one of those who did not get Refund for 3 years. Computer Centre, Bangalore didnot give credit for Advancetax of Rs.37000/- paid by me for the AY 2012-13. Instead it raised demand of Rs.35000/- as against refund of Rs.12000/- claimed by me. My three applications u/s.154 were rejected by the AO , even though payment was visible in AS-26A. Complaints to this effect made to Shri Narendra Modi, CBDT and the AO were never replied. I had to write to Narendra Modi to close down his Grievance Cess if the PMO was to act simply as Postman.

  10. CH TRIPATI PATRA says:

    Mr. Sinhaji

    A cross checking mechanism system should be introduced while passing each & every high pitch assessment orders. Also accountability should be fixed for income tax personnel. Due to non accountability, the income tax personnel are misusing their for their own benefits by harassing the assesses. Even they are not ready to accept the judgments of higher forum. Sir, plz. take care of the benefit of assesses.

  11. Ravinder Mittal says:

    An important aspect is constantly getting ignored. Where does this attitude of corruption come from? Is it sitting in the Departments and afflicts whoever joins it? Or does it come from outside alongwith the entrants? My answer is the later. We seem to be concerned only with the corruption in government Departments. what about the corrupt business practices. Corrupt professional practices. Food adulteration. Black marketing. And many more such evils.
    The fact is that greed for easy money and power is always present in our society. The moral values have taken some obscure corner. Those responsible for it themselves have become corrupt. In such situations these steps are effective to a very limited extent. On a macro scale there is need to inculcate moral values like self-restraint, non stealing, honesty and simple living habits. Only society can do it as corrupt mentality is prevalent in the society.

  12. one of the daily sufferer says:

    mr sinha,
    a large number of your officers do not move unless their demands are met. have a look at kolkata .you can easily find out how many crores have been minted by each one so called high n all varieties of officer. if u r really interested to nail corrupt officers then let all the high pitch assessment orders be checked by another unbiased knowledgable team .also check the orders of same officers where they have squeezed the assesses n then passes so called favourable orders

  13. Arun Ganesh Jogdeo says:

    No action has been taken on the Directorate, who made TDS zero even though it was seen on 26AS form. The reason pushed forward for making TDS zero was “Income Tax Department’s Computer performed a glitch!” Ha!Ha!!Ha!!! Income Tax Department’s Computer have become smart and intelligent to rub out TDS though data is available on 26AS Form. It resulted in imposition of about 12 lac crore Rupees liabilities to tax payers all over India of which 2.33 lac crore has already been proved in Delhi High Court.

  14. Ramakrishnan says:

    Ofcourse the corrupt must be punished. But not at the cost of scaring the honest officers. The principle of natural justice must be applied before taking any drastic decision. On the other hand what about those who consciously make false claims and declarations just to reduce their tax burden? It is widely prevalent to claim a tax deduction without actually spending or investing (Eg: bogus LTC claims, medical claims, handicapped allowance etc.). Are they too are not corrupt? What about the doctor or for that matter any professional who charges without issuing a receipt? For that matter do we receive a receipt without insisting on it everywhere?

  15. Ghansham Sharma says:

    SOS…SPEED OBJECTIVITY AND SINCERITY are the Key ingredients of getting the desired results on eradication of corruption and Tax Evasion which go hand in hand

  16. Ravinder Mittal says:

    These steps are really encourageing and in right direction. However the issue of large scale tax evasive remains there. The above comments are enough to deter the honest officers from their true duty as anyone can allege anything.
    At the same time there needs ti be a timeframe to decide the pending tax appeals. The compliance level by tax payers,particularly when some investigation is going on, is very poor. Such things also need to be tackled.

    • Ghansham says:

      SOS….SPEED with OBJECTIVITY and SINCERITY is the Key to eradicate corruption and Tax Evasion which go hand in hand…

  17. CA T N PRABHU says:

    THE OFFICERS WHO ARE INVOLVED IN THE PROMOTION OF CHARITABLE INSTITUTIONS MUST BE CATEGORICALLY LISTED AND SENT HOME. THE OFFICIALS IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF TRUST REGISTRATIONS AND ASSESSMENTS MUST BE WATCHED SERIOUSLY.

    • bobjee kurien says:

      the board is aware that most of the officers are having charitable trusts and it is a very easy way to chanelise their ill gotten money. It is not that they are no in the know of things .

  18. ram_adhithya says:

    The Officers must be punished for unlawful orders, highpitched orders and adventurous orders. They, not only, harass the Assessees but also waste the time and money of the State in creating opportunities for and fighting Appeals in various forums.

  19. CA Arun Goenka says:

    The frivolous litigation the IT dept. is having is mostly because the Assessee has not paid gratification. Officers should be made answerable for getting their obnoxious demands accepted by courts. If the succeed, they should be awarded, if they fail, a negative remark should be made in their file.

  20. shandilya says:

    Scrap section 293 that shields the corrupt officials. This section has made them a privileged class in the society . Unless they are dragged to court, there will be no reform . The evil needs to be uprooted root and branch . Make all the Officials vulnerable to Criminal Proceedings, to deter them from indulging in such rampant corrupt practices, causing irreparable harm both to the Taxpayers and the Society at large. All the deeming provisions need to be removed immediately to make the people tax adherent .

  21. RAMGOPAL SHARMA says:

    Great job, not only they should be suspended , but the amount they have pocketed
    should also be recovered , seniors should also be made party as seniors pressurize the juniors to take money and share with them .officers get posted at the important posts by paying money to the seniors in the board and to the politicians such link should also to be found out and the concerned person should be punished
    such practices will stop if we simply the act and remove the ambiguity , but like past govt. this govt is also making laws which gives more powers to the assessing officer which will increase the practice of asking the bribes
    hope govt. is listening
    ramgopal sharma

  22. ca S K Mittal says:

    not only to sack them immediately without pension and other retirement benefits and send them to jail, but recover the un-proportionate assets of the officers

  23. CH TRIPATI PATRA says:

    Thanks a lot for taking stringent action against the corrupted officers of income tax department. But this is not sufficient. Govt. should be more & more vigil towards corrupted staffs. More than 95% of revenue personnel are corrupted. They are misusing their vested power for the benefit of their own selves by harassment & punishment. They are reopening the case even the baseless audit objection & raising huge demands against the honest & bonafide assesses having no fault of their. The income tax department should not encourage its officials to collect the revenue in dishonest manner as it will not helpful for the country. The govt. can minimize the corruption if all things be transparent & accountability be fixed to its personnel.

  24. Bobjee Kurien says:

    In any private company the sale is complete when the sale proceeds comes to the cash box.It is not just the number of orders booked but how much of the booking has resulted in cash collections . hence in a private company it is the cash collection and not the orders that count .
    In income tax the evaluation is on the high assessments made and how many of them were directed to the authorities for appropriate relief .The procedures are also so framed that appeals needs to be filed on the basis of tax effects.So if the tax effect on the basis on the initial assessment is high the department will have to take it on further appeals up to the Supreme Court. At each level the assessee has to shell out money or pay bribes to get justice.This trend of high pitched assessment needs to be stopped.
    The supervisory officer where the initial assessment was made should be keep a track of the high pitched assessment and report the fate of the assessment to the supervisory officer under whom the assessing is working to enable him to make an appraisal.At present an officer makes an assessment and the fate of all future is left to the successor .This is very unfortunate for the successor .
    The direct recruit officer loves to make high pitched assessments and he gets all praise from the supervisory officer for having providing an opportunity to the supervisory officer to milk the assessee.
    The base is provided for corruption to take roots.

  25. CA P K Gupta says:

    For progress of country, it is paramount to root out corruption.For the first time it is a very good news. Fear must be there in the mind of officers.

    In India the revenue department and police is the most corrupt.

    The senior officers feels they are above law and nothing happens to them. I am dealing income tax cases and could say with my experience that the judiciary is also responsible for great loss of genuine revenue due to the Govt.

    With due respect, the judges who are not well versed with tax laws decides the tax cases. in many cases ,it forms precedents which is exploited by the professional to deprive the revenue due to the country.

    I was in USA for about two months and could see the stule of working i.e. very helpful and pro common man at the same time no favour to any one.

    I feel we face harassment in INDIA mainly due to corruption prevalent in India.

    I wish Respected Sh Narinder Modi Govt. to takes steps so that all Indians can get timely resolution of their routine issues like seen in USA.

    For the first time it is seen that the present Govt is working in right direction. The first visible change is improvement in punctuality to reach in time by the Govt. officials. I would like to Add that still senior offices of Revenue are not coming in time in Delhi itself. Please do some thing for the improvement.

    Good luck for improvement of good governance in our country.

  26. V G RAGHU says:

    Action taken by government is apt Tax consultants auditors can concentrate and discuss on credibility of accounts of their clients during assessment proceedings

  27. Suresh Ramaswamy says:

    Corruption is a two way traffic. The bribe giver is as culpable as the bribe taker. So the big honchos, tax advisors, CAs and others who do the tax planning (aka scheme of tax avoidence bordering on evasion) and confidently implement them, sanguine that their relation with the officers and a handsome packet of Gandhiji,s Photo will take care of the problem are equally liable for punishment. Hope NaMo Government also addresses this problem to discourage tax advisors from avoiding the law.

  28. M Prasad says:

    Only PM Modi can not clean the corrupt Government offices,this is high time for all to come forward and expose all corrupt government officials to get them punished.There should be zero tolerance towards corruption if we want to save our society.Corruption is the root cause of all evils and underdevelopment. Kudos to Modiji. However, some strict rules/instructions mUST be framed by government to eradicate corruption as present law is not able to stop corruption.

  29. vswami says:

    IMPROMPTU
    wrt “Unfortunately, the law is on the side of the accused. The Supreme Court has ruled …. “proof of DEMAND of illegal gratification” is essential for prosecution of the accused. In the absence of DEFINITIVE PROOF OF DEMAND of a bribe, the accused walk away scot-free. The fact that they are CAUGHT RED HANDED….. IS IRRELEVANT, the Supreme Court has ruled”.
    The essence of the cited SC ruling , read with the rest of the contents, according to a straightforward reading and common sense understanding, do not prima facie make much sense; instead, is rather quite confusing.
    In one’s longstanding firm conviction, the difficulty in punishing the offender- culprit, particularly if caught red handed, in the very act of receiving bribe, ought not to be so difficult, should it be borne in mind that, –
    (a) in the eyes of law, an economic offense such as bribe, as opposed to a ‘crime’ (e.g. homicide), might not require the same type of long drawn/time consuming rigid proof; and
    b)the age-old principle of ‘criminal’ jurisprudence namely, – unless proved guilty beyond any doubt none can be punished, -with the changing times, need not have to be accepted as any longer binding / sacrosanct, so as to come in the way of effectively dealing with an economic offense of the kind.
    May be, in one’s perspective, based on a rational thinking, there could be no valid rhyme or reason as to why the self- same philosophy as is underlined in bringing to tax ‘unexplained’ (unaccounted) income / credits (refer the special sections of IT Act) ought not be held to apply, hence deserve to be adopted.
    Over to legal pundits at large, inviting serious deliberation on foregoing lines, in forming and sharing opinion on pragmatically sound grounds to well suit the times.

  30. Bobjee kurien says:

    A small wedge can allow break open the stongest of lockers.The Government has short circuted the torturous delay in in getting rid of unwanted people.A right step.

    • b.s.waghela says:

      Minister should publish the names of the persons sacked. Name them – Shame them.

    • b.s.waghela says:

      Name them – Shame them. Fix quota for each ITO/ACIT/DCIT, Jt./Addl.CIT, CIT, CCIT and Chief /Pr. CCIT. Those who fail to achieve Quota should also be Removed under Rule 56(j) of the FR.

  31. DINESH says:

    WELL DONE .

  32. Ferdous a Mohammad says:

    Accountability has to be made a norm in this country. unless officials and officers, bureaucrats are not held accountable for their actions or inaction nothing substantial is going to happen to improve the image of this country. promotions to the higher posts must be strictly made on the basis of merit and not on seniority or reservations – which spoiled the whole system. honest people need to be given due recognition.

  33. Praful Joshi says:

    The Officer must be accountable for unwarranted addition during the course of assessment, create huge demand, ultimately in appeal is dismissed, in such case, they should be accountable for harassing the assessee, making knowingly wrong addition. There should be some punishment should be there.

  34. gavendra says:

    Very good move only if we mean it as way of life. Also look into arbitrary assessments done by Tax officers to raise demand and increase litigation. That puts economic pressure on assessee and enhanced load on judiciary

  35. pawan singla says:

    It s good. But there should be strict against tax evaders as well as the professional who guide them to evade tax.

  36. manish parekh says:

    Thank you sir. NOW please let us go to next step of DISCOURAGING those people from entering the government job – who have these notion that this job is for making money. Another important aspect would be to question WHY GOVT EMPLOYEES SHOULD GET LIFE TIME PENSIONS ? We the common people save each peny, curtail our expenses, kill our desires to save for old age because we are not going to get pension FOR LIFE !!!!!!!!!!! Sahebji these rules were meant fro British Officers since their idea was to wash off all resources of the GULAM country. Its time to get out of this “BABUISM” implemented by British people for their own benefit.

  37. ANIL KUMAR D TRIVEDI says:

    This is a example to be set up on corrupted baapu ,strict message be pass on the way to the awaited rest departments without waiting even taking care of VOTES BANK.

  38. Mukesh says:

    Good step to begin with. Hope this continues and people realise that bribes are just not sufficient to clear their sins. They have to face the consequences of tax evasion as well.

  39. Balasubramanian S says:

    Tax payers should be aware of their rights and also discharge their obligations. We are going in the right direction. We have to make the people aware that the govt is in the process of streamlining the department and try to change taxpayers feeling that whatever we do they will not change. Hope this will continue till the country is become corrupt free.

  40. Mahaveer says:

    The corruption is embedded in the genetics of the IT department. Not an easy task for the government to root out corruption.
    Mr. Modiji, please address similar issue prevailing in service tax department.

  41. SUNIL GUPTA says:

    Stop transferring corrupt officials, sack them immediately without pension and other retirement benefits and send them to jail. once an example is made others will toe the line. till now they treated it as a joke kya hoga transfer hoga theek hai

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "Acche Din Finally! NAMO Busts Den Of Corruption In Income-Tax Dept And Sacks Top IRS Officers For Harassing Taxpayers"
  1. […] It may be recalled that on an earlier occasion, the Government has dismissed several high-ranking IRS officials from service for engaging in extortion and blackmailing hapless taxpayers. One can expect that this momentum will be maintained under the stewardship of Shri. Ravi Shankar Prasad (See Acche Din Finally! NAMO Busts Den Of Corruption In Income-Tax Dept And Sacks Top IRS Officers For Ha…). […]

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