22 Senior Tax Officers Facing Corruption Charges Made to Retire as Part of Govt’s ‘Clean-up’ Drive
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. (Photo: Reuters)
New Delhi: The government has forced 22 more tax officials into retirement for their alleged roles in corruption cases and links with other charges, in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment to purge the I-T department of the "black sheep”.
This comes just two months after the government had compulsorily retired 27 high-ranking officers of the Indian Revenue Service officers, including 12 from the Central Board of Direct Taxes. The action was taken after the officers were named in alleged corruption cases.
“The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has compulsorily retired yet another 22 senior officers of the rank of Superintendent/Administrative Officer under Fundamental Rule 56 (J)... due to corruption and other charges and CBI traps,” the CBIC said.
In June, 12 senior government officers, including a chief commissioner, principal commissioners and commissioner of the Income Tax Department, were directed by the Finance Ministry to retire under Rule 56 of the General Financial Rules (GFRs).
Sources had told News 18 that some of these officers were found guilty of corruption, having illegal and disproportionate assets and sexual harassment.
News18 had earlier reported that the Cabinet Secretariat and the Central Vigilance Commission had given verbal instructions to the vigilance heads in many departments to expedite the process of identifying officers for compulsory retirement under Fundamental Rule 56(j) of Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972.
Though 56(j) that provides for compulsory retirement of government staff in public interest has existed for several decades, it has sparingly been invoked.
Under the section, the performance of an officer who has turned 50 or 55 or has completed 30 years of service (whichever is earlier,) is being reviewed to ascertain if he/she is liable for compulsory retirement.
This rule to punish non-performers was revisited immediately after the first Modi government came to power in May 2014.
Among high-profile 56 (j) retirements in recent past were MN Vijaykumar (IAS), K Narasimha (IAS), Mayank Sheel Chohan (IPS) and Raj Kumar Dewangan (IPS).