According to a press report, two IRS Officers, who are accused by the CBI in a FIR of having received bribes of Rs. 5 crore each from a company named Sterling Biotech, have been empaneled as Chief Commissioners of Income-tax. Both officers have been interrogated by the CBI and the investigation is still going on. Citizens have expressed shock as to how such allegedly tainted officials have been appointed to high positions of power and influence.
Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) empanelled two IRS officers accused in CBI FIR for taking bribes from Sterling Biotech. They are empanelled as Chief Commissioners! What is happening in ACC? No fact checking? : https://t.co/CvcKmAC9MB
— J Gopikrishnan (@jgopikrishnan70) December 4, 2017
Sad Modi doesn’t have control over wicked bureaucracy. Who are those black sheep who are bent upon bringing bad name to this government? Will Modi at least,now,look around him to recognise what goes wrong?
— Aarudraa (@aarudraa) December 4, 2017
The system always wins, huh? Once again proves, bureaucrats run the Government, not the political party winning the elections.
Isn't the ACC chaired by @PMOIndia?
— Indian Nutty Right (@SupariShambhu) December 4, 2017
@PMOIndia @narendramodi_in @narendramodi Sir, what is happening in your govt? Now giving promotion for corruption?Lok Adalat what happened?I am worried now your 2nd term will become more difficult.Dismiss all who promoted this 2 corrupt IT officers.
— avkarthi67 (@avkarthi67) December 4, 2017
— mahesh biyani (@mdbiyani) December 4, 2017
Text of press report in the Daily Pioneer:
“In what could blow up into a major controversy, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) on November 30 empanelled two ‘tainted’ IRS officers as Chief Commissioners of Income Tax. Among the 38 empanelled officers, Sunil Kumar Ojha and Manas Shankar Roy are accused number one and three in the CBI’s FIR for accepting crores of rupees as bribe from a Vadodara-based company, Sterling Biotech of the Sandesara Group.
The 11-page FIR registered by the CBI in Delhi details the bribes accepted by these officers who are currently Principal Income Tax Commissioners. First accused Sunil Kumar Ojha is now Principal Income Tax Commissioner of Guntur in Andhra Pradesh and third accused Manas Shankar Ray is Principal Income Tax Commissioner of Ahmadabad. As per the CBI’s FIR, these two officers along with another Income Tax Commissioner, Subhash Chandra, currently posted in Thane region, regularly accepted money from the Sterling Biotech group companies.
According to the FIR, these officers accepted more than five crores each from the company in 2011 itself. Some payments were also made through demand drafts in the name of their family members. CBI’s FIR is based on the findings of a sensational diary recovered from the company headquarters listing many Income Tax, police, IAS officers, and politicians who were on the payroll of the company. In October, the CBI also registered a second FIR against this Vadodara-based group for cheating banks of over Rs 5,000 crore.
A senior official pointed out that as and when the CBI registers FIR under criminal charges and Prevention of Corruption Act, within a week the Chief Vigilance Officer of the concerned department would be intimated. The information is recorded in the Vigilance Clearance as also in the Annual Confidential Report (ACR). The two reports are mandatorily considered for promotion and empanelment.
In April 2016, the Central Government introduced a new appraisal system called ‘360 Degree Performance Appraisal System’ for considering promotion of Joint Secretary and above level officers. As per the new system, apart from ACR, the DoPT will also consider even private complaints, reports and information about the officer listed for empanelment. It is baffling how despite such strict scrutiny mechanisms under the new appraisal system, two officers charged under PC Act were empanelled as Chief Commissioners of Income Tax.
Both these officers have already been interrogated by the CBI and the investigation is still going on. According to the CBI’s FIR, these officers even accepted payments through banking transactions and Demand Drafts from the company. Records show that in many cases payments were made to them on direct approval of the company promoters Nitin J Sandesara and Chetan Sandesara.“