Global Economy

After 12 revenue officers, more may face the heat

NEW DELHI: The government, which compulsorily retired 12 revenue service officers for misconduct and corruption, hasn’t ruled out more action under similar provisions.

Allegations against some of the officers who were compulsorily retired on Monday range from extortion and forging a will to helping late godman Chandraswami.

On the other hand, Reserve Bank of India board member S Gurumurthy on Tuesday tweeted in support of one officer, SK Srivastava, who he said was one of the “very few capable investigators and legal brains” in the Income Tax Department.

Action taken against the 12 officers on Monday afternoon was prompted by the government’s resolve to clean up the system and send a strong message that it will not spare those who are tainted or not performing.

“Further action under this provision is not ruled out,” a government official said.

The government has taken measures to improve tax administration and reduce the scope for discretion in decisions to lessen corruption and harassment of taxpayers.

The government invoked clause ‘j’ of Rule 56 of the Fundamental Rules to retire the 12 officers. The rules allow, if deemed in public interest, the appropriate authority absolute right to retire any government servant by giving notice of less than three months in writing or three months’ pay and allowances in lieu.

Gurumurthy said in his tweet, “If reports I hear are true that Sanjay Shrivastava a totally honest, courageous IT commissioner who exposed the NDTV fraud & fought PC Chidambaram for 15 yrs, bore all persecution, is being compulsory retired, it means Lutyens, PC & NDTV lobbies are still at work in this govt.”

He also tweeted, “Since Shrivastava has been sacked PC, NDTV have got hopes to escape. He had been behind most action against them. IT dept has very few capable investigators & legal brains like him. To club Shrivastava with corrupt is the biggest joke. Great injustice.”

However, finance ministry officials defended their action, saying the officers faced serious charges. Some have been under the scanner of the Central Bureau of Investigation for holding disproportionate assets and others face criminal cases for forgery. One senior revenue service officer has been charged with lapses and irregularities in his administrative work and has been accused of sexually harassing two senior lady revenue service officers.

This officer was known to threaten senior officers and level unsubstantiated allegations against them, using slanderous language, said a ministry official who did not wish to be identified.


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