CBDT Chief Cracks Whip At Gross Delay in Tackling Vigilance Complaints Against Tax Officials

Hon’ble Sushil Chandra, the Chairman of the CBDT, has issued a directive dated 13th June 2018 to the Principal Commissioners of Income-tax in which the shocking revelation is made that several vigilance complaints against income-tax officials are pending for several years and no action thereon has been taken. It is also stated that there are virtually no cases in which disciplinary proceedings on account of misconduct have been initiated by the department on its own. This indicates that actions which should have been taken by the department on complaints against Group ‘B’ and Group ‘C’ officers/ officials are not being taken proactively.

The learned Chairman has directed the disciplinary authorities to take immediate action in pending disciplinary proceedings. It is stipulated that departmental inquiries in non-CVC jurisdiction cases pending for more than six months should be completed latest by 30.06.2018.

SUSHIL CHANDRA
Chairman, CBDT &
Special Secretary to the Government of India
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Ministry of Finance/Department of Revenue
Central Board of Direct Taxes
North Block, New Delhi-110001
E-mail : chairmancbdt@nic.in
Tele : 23092648 & Telefax : 23092544

Dated the 13th June, 2018

D.O. F.No. DGIT(V)/HQ/CVC/ASR-18

My Dear Pr Chief Commissioner

Sub:Delay in disposal of complaints and finalization of disciplinary proceedings — Non CVC jurisdiction cases – regarding

Long delays in disposing the complaints and finalization of departmental inquiries are a cause of concern for the Department and have also been viewed adversely by CVC. I regret to note that adherence to timelines in Group ‘B’ and Group `C’ cases has been particularly slack. The issue has been flagged earlier also through various letters issued by Vigilance Directorate, Member (Admin), CBDT and through Video conference. The issue has also been discussed by the Zonal ADsG (Vig) in quarterly meetings with you.

2. Delay in examining and disposing of complaints delays remedial actions to protect the interest of revenue. Sometimes remedial actions get barred by limitation due to delay in examination of complaints. At times, the delay leads to a situation where the complaints have to be examined in a hurried manner due to impending retirement of the officer/ official concerned. The pending complaints must be examined expeditiously. There is an urgent need to finalize the old cases immediately so that fresh complaints can be handled on real time basis. It is seen that even several years old complaints are still pending for want of records, documents and report from field formations. The Vigilance Directorate has been directed to carry out Spot Inspections to expedite processing of complaints where the delays are due to delay in furnishing records, documents and reports by field formations.

3. It has been brought to my notice that the number of cases in which disciplinary proceedings are initiated in Group ‘B’ and Group ‘C’ cases is much less as compared to the number of disciplinary proceedings initiated in cases of group ‘A’ officers and primarily relates to cases where criminal proceedings have already been initiated on account of action by CBI/ police. There have been virtually no cases in which disciplinary proceedings on account of misconduct have been initiated by the department on its own. This indicates that actions which should have been taken by the department on complaints against Group ‘B’ and Group ‘C’ officers/ officials are not being taken proactively.

4. In terms of newly inserted Sub rule (24) in Rule 14 of CCS (CCA) Rules, 1965 vide DoPT notification No G.S.R. 548 (E) dated 02.06.2017, the Inquiring Authority should conclude the inquiry and submit his report within 6 months from the date of receipt of order of his appointment. Additional time not exceeding six months for completing the inquiry can be allowed at a time on the basis of sufficient and good reasons, to be recorded in writing by Disciplinary Authority. In view of the same, it is imperative to complete the Departmental inquiries within the prescribed time as any delay in completion of departmental inquiries within the prescribed time period may be viewed adversely by Hon’ble CAT/ Courts of Law.

5. The disciplinary authorities in Group ‘B’ and Group ‘C’ cases may be advised to take immediate action in pending disciplinary proceedings. The field officers may be directed to make available records, documents and reports requested by Vigilance Directorate without any delay. It may be ensured that the departmental inquiries in non-CVC jurisdiction cases pending for more than six months are completed latest by 30.06.2018.

With best wishes,

Yours sincerely.

(Sushil Chandra)

All Pr. Chief Commissioners of Income Tax,


12 comments on “CBDT Chief Cracks Whip At Gross Delay in Tackling Vigilance Complaints Against Tax Officials
  1. CA DEEPAK SONI says:

    IT IS A BIG SHOW BUSINESS BY CBDT.CBDT NEED NOT MAKE SUCH ISSUES PUBLIC AND KEEP ON WORKING SILENTLY. HOWEVER THIS TYPE OF SHOW BUSINESS IS NECESSARY TO WIN THE PUBLIC CHEERS AND TO HIDE THE INEFFICIENT SYSTEM.

    • Varaprasad Daitha says:

      Yes Deepak. I agree with you. For the last 15 years it has become fashion to the authorities to give such type of circulars towards their fag end of service. Even this chief is not exempt from such practice. He was given extension twice. He never issued such circulars in the past during his tenure. It is only towards the fag end of his extension period he issued such wise circular.

  2. CVRANJAN says:

    Against one CIT ranked officer from 2 years vigilance is going on.The said officer openly took favour.Everybody knows about him be it department people/advocates/assessee’s.Even for following jurisdictional courts order,he needed favour.Yet He is enjoying tax payer’s money.

    • Varaprasad Daitha says:

      Yes because he is a direct recruitee to Group a post and the CBDT does not look at him. For instance a combined charge sheet was issued to two promotee and DR officers. The DR officer was the range head and he should be made accountable to any false reports sent to higher authorities. But the CBDT had issued a combined charge sheet to three of them proposing major penalties for the promotee officers and minor penalty for range head who as per the reorganisation was accountable to range affairs.

      This speaks of partiality towards the members of tax family and even the present circular was not different one.

  3. Varaprasad Daitha says:

    Paragraph 3 speaks that the number of cases in respect of group B and C officers are less than that of group A officers.

    This itself speaks ignorance of the chief. After computerisation and online filing the contact between the Group B and C staff had come to a minimum as can be seen from various measures taken by the CBDT itself. In such a situation how could the officers of these two grades could indulge in bribery of disciplinary angle incidents. It is only the present Group A officers are heading the ranges and charges and they are entitled to contact the public and there might be scope for that group only and not to other groups.

  4. Varaprasad Daitha says:

    Paragraph 5 of the circular speaks availability of records and documents. Was not the CBDT aware that it was a practice in the department not to make available the records. In one case the CO while passing modification orders consequent to giving appeal effect calculated interest on the revised income due to appeal affect and calculated interest which normally would be less than the original calculation. He was charged that he had unauthorisedly waived interest. When he sought for the concerned documents, the department did not produce. The CO went to CAT / HC for directions to produce the documents and got the orders accordingly. Still the IO, PO and department did not produce. Ultimately when the matter came to a stage of final submission of version by CO the copies of the records were produced. The reply on the basis of records was held to be not tenable. How ridiculous?

  5. vswami says:

    OFFHAND (For own thoughts / viewpoints shared on a topic, requiring to be likewise dealt with by the Executive, desirably with no delay / or gross delay)

    may you refer > https://www.facebook.com/swaminathanv3/posts/1713693352040277

  6. vswami says:

    IMPROMPTU

    To share own thoughts, but with a different stroke

    One’s Pick – key words ‘Gross Delay”:

    Being instantly provoked, attention may have to be drawn to another matter of no less severity, in which a delay, more so a gross delay, could / ought to have been seriously attempted and eschewed.

    Consider the amendment , of a recent origin, of sec 54 EC ; earlier made by insertion of the first Proviso to sub-sec (1), wef 1-4-2007, and further, by insertion of the second Proviso, wef 1-4-2015; that is, after a yawning gap of 8 years in between. No doubt, for a welcome change, in deviation from the traditional but highly objectionable practice of retrospective amendments, the second Proviso has been brought in with prospective force.

    Nonetheless, the not-so- obvious consequence is briefly this:

    In terms of sec 54 EC , as it stood before amendment, taxpayers, as was permissible, in a case to case basis, would have claimed, and also been allowed, the benefit of ‘fifty lakh rupees’, twice; once for the financial year of transfer of old (original) asset, and again, for the subsequent year.

    In short,the point requiring to be specially noted is that, had the said amendment been made, realizing the need for doing so at the earliest point ii time , the loss to the Revenue could have been mitigated / minimized to the extent possible.

    No need to specifically emphasize that, any like amendment, if in process now or in future, -on the premise of being justifiably called for, by way of clarifying ’legislative intention’,- should, for obvious reasons, be ideally and prudently made, with no procrastination, whatever be the reason or compulsion behind.

    Over to eminent law Experts, in field practice, with an Invite to deliberate, and share independent but better thoughts, if any, for serving the common good.

  7. Varaprasad Daitha says:

    The focus of the circular mainly appears to be on complaints against group B & C officers. In respect of the group A officers it itself takes care of. What care to show hatred towards B & C and promotee officers of Group A officers. The following are evidences.

    In one survey case a statement of declaration of stocks was recorded by some one whose identity is not noted. There was no proof of oath administration. The Group B officer (not the person who conducted survey) while making assessment found it as no evidentiary value and proceeded with the return of income and started probing the stocks found during survey. The hating CBDT states that the officer should have taken into consideration of the non evidentiary value statement and make an assessment.

    The Supreme court had observed that during surveys no statements forcing declarations should be recorded. The CBDT had issued time and again issued circulars not to take statements during survey and any violation would be viewed in vigilance angle. But in the instant case the CBDT held the officer as guilty for not considering such non evidentiary statement. Because that officer was promoted to Group A from Group B.

    In another case the vigilance directed the CIT to examine the issues noted during vigilance inspection u/s 263. He examined and dropped the proceedings u/s 263. The time for taking action u/s 147 if any lapsed by 31-3-2000. But the CBDT had directed the other CIT to instruct the range head to initiate action u/s 147 after 31-3-2001. Such directions were on record and the AO sent proposals with reference to such directions. The CIT knowingly gave approval to invalid proposals after due dates. The CIT appeals had upheld such illegally reopened assessment. The ITAT had struck down the reopened assessment. After striking down the great CBDT had issued charge sheet based on illegally reopened assessment. Because the officer was from Group B and promoted to Group A.

    No action against the CIT who dropped the action u/s 263 and against the CIT who knowingly gave approval for belated proposals and no action against range head who ought not to have given written directions to AO to send proposals u/s 147 and no action against the AO who is faithfully written the facts of such directions and submitting the proposal knowingly beyond time limit, because they are all from Group A direct recruitees.

    LONG LIVE HATREDNESS OF CBDDT AGAINST ITS OWN TAX FAMILY.

    • Varaprasad Daitha says:

      In the cited survey declaration, the CO did not ignore the value of stocks said to have been found during survey, but the CBDT alleges that the CO did not assess the value u/69. It forgot the value arrived during survey was on an improper calculation of stock to be available by applying double the GP normally declared in the line of business; and it also forgot the main condition to bring the value u/s 69 was to establish that the stock was found out of books of account. Another interesting point was that in the case of sister concern in the same premises on the same day the same survey team had adopted different method of valuation of stock to be available. Had the same method of the first concern was adopted the stock to be available in the case of sister concern would be a negative figure. But the virtuality was that there was stock available in the premises.

  8. b. s. Waghela says:

    Very good Articles by Varaprasad. Board should invoke Rule 56(j) of the FR against some CITs/CCITs/Pr.CCITs and only then things may move in proper direction.

  9. Varaprasad Daitha says:

    What a prompt suggestion? The Chief’s office is the den for such delays. In one case an incident occurred in 1996 was taken up for vigilance action in 2006 i.e after lapse of 10 years 4 months. When the charged officer the Supreme court order against such delayed actions, the great office of the Chief did not answer at all. Similarly, disciplinary action initiated consequent to the initiation of invalid 147 proceedings was also ignored by the same great office. Even this 147 action subsequent to examination u/s 263 which was held by Supreme Court as illegal was also not considered by the same great office. Similarly, the charge sheet issued without the proper approval of the FM was was quashed by the Supreme Court and the same court had denied review of the decision by a speaking order. When this was quoted the great office cites a latest high court order which has no application on the facts and circumstances. The great office wishes to surpass the Supreme Court orders even. The official claimed that the charge sheet was non-est and revival of it after the retirement of the official was bad in law. The great office does not issue a speaking order why it was not accepting the version and its findings, but simply states that the arguments were not tenable. If this is the kind of functioning is in CBDT chief’s office what one would expect from his subordinate offices.
    Moreover, the charge sheet was issued in Nov 2006 and the IO submitted his report to the Chief’s office in October 2015. Was it not the duty of chief’s office to pursue the finalisation of inquiry proceedings. The CVC prescribed time frame of 6 months for finalisation of inquiry proceedings and if for any reason there were delay it should be recorded in writing by the IO. No IO is following and no superviry authority checks the time frames.
    After lapse of 22 years from the date of such occurrence the great Chief’s office levies a penalty of 10% cut in basic pension of the charged officer. The great CBDT after digging a mountain found a dead rat and pats itself as saviour of law and justice. Another interesting point is that on the website of the vigilance wing of CBDT they hosted a supreme court order which orders to close summarily of a pending disciplinary proceedings which were not concluded for no fault of the charged officer is also simply ignored. WHAT A GREAT CBDT AND ITS ORDERS TO THE SUBORDINATES?
    GOD SAVE THIS COUNTRY.

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