Govt continues crackdown on corrupt officials; 15 IT officers forced to retire
New Delhi: Continuing its crackdown against corruption, the government has on Friday forcibly retired 15 senior income tax officers under Fundamental Rule 56 (J) in the public interest due to corruption charges and CBI cases registered against them.
It's for the fourth time that the government has booted out corrupt officers for their alleged involvement in corruption or other malpractices. In the last three rounds, 49 high-ranking tax officers, including 12 officers from the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) were compulsorily retired under the Fundamental Rule that empowers the government to evict non-performers from the government.
According to an official statement by CBDT, all officials belong to the CBDT and the officers who have been retired by the government prior to their term include Principal Commissioner of Income Tax, Commissioner of Income Tax, Joint Commissioner of Income Tax, Additional Commissioner of Income Tax, Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax, etc. Majority of the sacked officers had corruption cases worth crores of rupees against them.
The decision has been taken with regard to the Prime Minister's address to the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort. The PM had said "Some black sheep in the tax administration may have misused their powers and harassed taxpayers, either by targeting honest assesses or by taking excessive action for minor or procedural violations."
"We will compulsorily retire a significant number of tax officials and the government will not tolerate this type of behaviour," he had said.
The clean-up drive began on June 10 with the dismissal of a dozen tainted high-ranking income-tax officers. In the next round of the clean-up exercise a week later, the government forced out 15 indirect tax officials. The third round was in August when 22 more officials were given pink slips.
Among those removed from service include Principal CIT OP Meena, CITs Sailendra Mamidi and PK Bajaj. Other senior officials who have been forced to retire include Sanjeev Ghei (JCIT), K Jayaprakash (ACIT), V Appala Raju (Addl CIT), Rakesh H Sharma (ACIT), Nitin Garg (DCIT), A Fazululla (DCIT), Kripa Sagar Das (DCIT), P Jose Kunjippalu (ACIT-OSD), CJ Vincent (ACIT-OSD), TK Bhattacharya (DCIT), Kamlesh Kumar Tripathi (JCIT) and SR Senapati (Addl. CIT).
Meena has been shown the door over conflict of the interest as he had decided the appeal of his own advocate who had represented his case in CAT, Lucknow bench.
While Mamidi's services has been terminated over his involvement in an illegal gratification of Rs 10 lakh. He was arrested by the CBI and the bribe consideration was recovered from his associate.
In another case, Nitin Garg, who issued a notice to a businessman and then allegedly demanded bribes not to impose heavy penalties, was also shown the door.
The complainant, in this case, had recorded his conversations with the tax official.
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