With zero tolerance against corruption, the Government of India took a tough stance against 12 senior officials of the Finance Ministry,ordering their retirement.
Reports say the concerned officials had been in the red zone for some time. The 12 officials face complaints of corruption, extortion, sexual harassment, acquisition of movable and immovable assets that were not disclosed to proper authorities and illegally stopping the promotion of colleagues. Moreover, some officials were alleged of being ‘chronically ineffectual’ at their jobs, and forced to retire.
The order has been issued against: Ashok Kumar Aggarwal (civil code 85042) joint commissioner of income tax; Sanjay Kumar Srivastava (87052) commissioner; Alok Kumar Mitra (92030) commissioner; Arulappa B (90116) commissioner; Ajoy Kumar Singh (87067) commissioner; BB Rajendra Prasad (92092) commissioner; Homi Rajvansh (85043) commissioner; Swetabh Suman (88078) commissioner; Andasu Ravindar (91110) additional commissioner; Vivek Batra (92075) additional commissioner; Chander Sain Bharti (94086) additional commissioner; and Ram Kumar Bhargava (145FF) assistant commissioner.
The Hindu highlighted the concerned officers with ranks of Chief Commissioners, Principal Commissioners or Commissioners of Income Tax. It says they will be paid a sum equivalent to the amount of pay and allowances for a period of three months at the same rate at which they would have received immediately before their retirement.
A circular by the Finance Ministry 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.”
A government official said the tough stance was in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assertion, ‘na khaunga na khane dunga’ (will neither steal, nor allow anyone else to). He said a strong message has been sent in the system to shun corruption practices at all levels immediately. The official revealed that similar action would be implemented in several other government departments where ‘corruption is an issue’. Another government official said one of the dismissed officials was already under suspension fro 1999 to 2014 because of serious complaints of corruption and major extortion. “Another official was dismissed as he was accused of sexual harassment by two women officers of commissioner rank.” He further said that one of the most serious allegations was against an officer who is alleged to have amassed assets worth Rs12 crore.