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CBDT Faces Flak Over Sacking Of “Honest” High-Ranking IRS Official

The Ministry of Finance and the CBDT have launched a massive “clean up” drive to get rid of alleged tainted and corrupt officers. After the “demotion” of two Joint Commissioners, 15 high-ranking IRS officials have been “compulsorily retired“. However, some influential personalities like Subramaniam Swamy and S. Gurumurthy are claiming that some “honest” officers have been wrongly targeted and implicated in “bogus” cases

Cleaning the Augean Stables one corrupt officer at a time

The income-tax department has earned a nasty reputation for being a dreaded den of corruption.

It is customary for high-ranking officials to blatantly demand large sums of money as a bribe from hapless taxpayers.

In one instance, an IRS Officer demanded a bribe of Rs. 15 crore as a fee for “settling” the issue.

Even the CBI sleuths are wary of entering the offices of the income-tax department.

In Lucknow, a CBI team which had gone to arrest a corrupt ITO had to beat a hasty retreat when the Income Tax staff union gheraoed them and attacked them with fire extinguishers.

In fact, the situation got so out of hand, that the Government was forced to introduce the concept of “e-assessment” so as to save hapless taxpayers from the clutches of the corrupt officials.

However, the wily officials have managed to outwit even the e-assessment procedure.

Faceless e-assessment has not worked out. The system has further devolved to the level where when we respond to scrutiny notices by email, they are not being read by AOs and we are receiving penalty notices. And as soon as December begins, they start calling CAs to the income tax offices to discuss assessment. How will corruption stop in this manner?” a senior CA lamented, narrating the nefarious modus operandi of the officials (see Transparency goes for toss as IRS officer, 2 CAs caught in bribe trap).

CBDT cracks whip and demotes/ sacks tainted officials

In this context, we have to appreciate the resolve the Ministry of Finance and CBDT to stem the rot in the Income-tax department.

A few days ago, the CBDT announced that four Joint Commissioners of Income-tax would be “demoted” to the post of Deputy Commissioner as they are facing investigation for disciplinary & vigilance cases.

Now, 15 senior IRS officials have been given the boot and “compulsorily retired“.

The press release issued by the Ministry of Finance reads as follows:

“Ministry of Finance

Government of India compulsorily retires 15 Senior Officers of the Indian Revenue Service (C &CE) with immediate effect

Posted On: 18 JUN 2019 5:04PM by PIB Delhi

In exercise of the powers conferred by Clause (j) of Rule 56 of the Fundamental Rules, the President of India has retired 15 officers of Indian Revenue Service (IRS)(C&CE) in public interest with immediate effect on completing 50 years of age.

These Officers are of the rank of Principal Commissioner, Commissioner, Addl. Commissioner, Dy. Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner etc.

All these 15 Officers will be paid a sum equivalent to the pay and allowances for a period of three months calculated at the same rate at reach they are supposed to be withdrawing then (Pay & Allowances) immediately before their retirement.

A separate Order in each case to that effect has been issued today by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India.

The details of these Officers are as follows:

1. Shri Anup Kumar Srivastava, IRS (C&CE 1984 Batch), presently posted as Principal ADG, Delhi Zonal Unit at DG(Audit), New Delhi.

2. Shri Atul Dikshit, Commissioner, IRS (C&CE 1988 Batch), presently under suspension.

3. Shri Sansar Chand, Commissioner, IRS (C&CE, 1986 Batch), presently posted as Commissioner(AR), CESTAT, Kolkata.

4. Shri Gaddala Sree Harsha, Commissioner, IRS (C&CE:1990 Batch), presently posted as Commissioner, DGPM, Chennai.

5. Shri Vinay Brij Singh, Commissioner, IRS (C&CE:1995 Batch), presently under suspension.

6. Shri Ashok Ratilal Mahida, Additional Commissioner, IRS (C&CE:1990 Batch), presently posted at DG (Systems), Kolkata.

7. Shri Virendra Kuma Agarwal, Additional Commissioner, IRS (C&CE:1990 Batch), posted at Nagpur GST Zone.

8. Shri Amresh Jain, Deputy Commissioner (IRS:C&CE:1992 Batch), posted in Delhi GST Zone.

9. Shri Nalin Kumar, Joint Commissioner, IRS(C&CE:2005Batch), presently under suspension.

10. Shri Surendra Singh Pabana, Assistant Commissioner, IRS (C&CE:2014 Batch), presently under suspension.

11. Shri Surendra Singh Bisht, IRS (C&CE:2014 Batch), presently posted as Assistant Commissioner at Bhubaneshwar GST Zone.

12. Shri Vinod Kumar Sanga, Assistant Commissioner, IRS (C&CE:2014 Batch), presently posted in Mumbai Customs Zone-III.

13. Shri Raju Sekar, Additional Commissioner, IRS (C&CE:1992 Batch), presently posted in Vizag GST Zone.

14. Ashok Kumar Aswal, Deputy Commissioner, IRS(C&CE:2003 Batch), presently posted in Directorate of Logistics, New Delhi.

15. Mohd Altaf, IRS (C&CE:2009 Batch), presently posted as Assistant Commissioner (AR), Allahabad.”

All the officials are alleged to have a notorious reputation including that of “corruption and extortion”.

According to a report in the Indian Express, one of the officials named SK Srivastava is facing a slew of charges, including making “scandalous” allegations against women Income Tax officers and making a “false facade of inquiries” against top officials of the CBDT.

Subramanian Swamy & S. Gurumurthy support sacked IRS officer

One of the sacked officials has met with unexpected support from influential quarters.

Subramanian Swamy, the firebrand RSS leader, announced that he will be taking up the case of S K Srivastava I-T Commissioner who was investigating NDTV.

He claimed that there is “no new substantive case” against Srivastava and that he has been framed under a “bogus case” filed during the regime of P. Chidambaram.

S Gurumurthy, the noted CA, also fired a salvo in favour of the sacked official.

He described the officer as being “totally honest, courageous” and claimed that he is a victim of “Lutyens, PC & NDTV lobbies“.

We will have to see whether the CBDT buckles under pressure and makes changes to the list of sacked officials.

2 comments on “CBDT Faces Flak Over Sacking Of “Honest” High-Ranking IRS Official
  1. Manish Parekh says:

    Government to show guts to REDRAFT the whole IRS IAS Acts to include provisions of “Rules to Administer” rather then the existing “Rules to RULE” which are still existing from British time drafted Acts. Britishers had drafted them so as to give powers to their ( British) officers to Rule hapless Indians so that they cannot raise their voices against the “Raj”. How can the same rules be effective today which still enables those officers the powers to suppress people, the common men, who are toiling hard to make two ends meet in the past 70 years of no development?



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