Modi Govt Cracks The Whip: 12 Officials Of Income Tax Dept Forced To Retire Over Charges Of Corruption, Among Others
On June 10, the central government forced 12 senior officials of the Income Tax Department to retire. Some of those asked to take compulsory retirement are facing charges of corruption and harassment, among others.
The 12 officials are of the rank of Chief Commissioners, Principal Commissioners and Commissioners of Income Tax, etc. The officials will be paid salary and allowances for a period of three months. This amount would be equivalent to the rate at which they would have received compensation immediately before their retirement.
Compulsory Retirement of Officials
The order issued by the Finance Ministry has quoted clause J of rule 56 of the Fundamental Rule. The ministry on June 10 said, “In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (j) of rule 56 of the Fundamental Rules, the President of India has retired 12 Officers of the Indian Revenue Service (Income Tax) in public interest with immediate effect from the afternoon of June 11, 2019 on completing 50 years of age.”
The list of these officials includes Ashok Agarwal- Joint Commissioner of I-T, SK Srivastava- Commissioner (Appeal, Noida) and Homi Rajvansh, an official of Revenue Service.
Ashok Agarwal had been suspended from 1999 to 2015. He faced allegations of corruption and extortion.
SK Srivastava was accused of sexually harassing two women officials. Additionally, he served 15 days of civil imprisonment for allegations against former chairman and members of the Central Board of Direct Taxes.
Homi Rajvansh, through alleged corrupt means, has acquired movable and immovable assets worth Rs 3.17 crore.
The charges levied on some of these officials range from corruption, extortion, sexual harassment, illegally stopping the promotion of colleagues, among others. Reportedly, a few officials were simply forced to retire because they were found to be ‘chronically ineffectual’ at their jobs.
Notably, the decision to outrightly remove the officials was taken instead of opting for other options, like that of giving them three months’ notice. As per clause (j) of rule 56 of the Fundamental Rules, “The Appropriate Authority shall, if it is of the opinion that it is in the public interest to do so, have the absolute right to retire any Government servant by giving him notice of not less than three months in writing or three months’ pay and allowances in lieu of such notice.”