The government has sacked 21 more "corrupt" tax officers belonging to Group B in the fifth tranche of its crackdown on errant officials accused of corruption and other malpractices, said government sources.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) compulsorily retired the 21 officers of the rank of Income Tax Officer (ITO) under Fundamental Rule 56 (J) in the public interest due to corruption and other charges and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) traps, the sources said.
With this, 85 officers including 64 high ranking tax officers, in which 12 officers were from CBDT, have been compulsorily retired under Fundamental Rule 56(J) this year.
Among the tax officers who have been shown the door on Tuesday, three were posted in the Mumbai office of the CBDT and two in adjoining Thane district.
Other officers sacked were posted in Vishakapatnam, Hyderabad, Rajahmundry, Hazaribag in Bihar, Nagpur in Maharashtra, Rajkot in Gujarat, Jodhpur, Madhopur, and Bikaner in Rajasthan and Bhopal and Indore in Madhya Pradesh.
The compulsory retirement of tax officials is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort when he had said some black sheep in the tax administration may have misused their powers and harassed taxpayers, either by targeting honest assessees or taking excessive action for minor or procedural violations.
This time, more than half of the officials retired were those who were were arrested by the CBI for allegedly receiving illegal gratification. One of them was caught accepting a bribe of Rs 50,000.
An official allegedly had over Rs 20 lakh cash in his bank locker while a Thane officer had acquired immovable and movable assets worth over Rs 40 lakh in his and his wife's name, reported PTI quoting sources.
The Rule 56 covers Group ‘A & B’ officers who entered service before 35 years of age and have attained 50 years of age. A review is carried out on a quarterly basis, including officials and employees facing serious allegations of corruption.
A review is carried out on a quarterly basis, including officials and employees facing serious allegations of corruption. If the review committee finds the allegations to be true, it recommends compulsory retirement and the order is then signed by the President.
At present, the retirement age for tax officials is 60 years.
In June, the government had compulsorily retired 15 commissioner-level officials of CBIC on charges of corruption, collecting and giving bribes, smuggling and even criminal conspiracy. Thereafter, the government had compulsorily retired 12 senior IRS officials from the Income Tax Department over charges of corruption, sexual harassment, disproportionate assets under Rule 56(J) of the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules.
The last round of sacking was in September when 15 Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) — the agency that overseas GST and import tax collections — were compulsorily retired.
— With PTI inputs
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Updated Date: Nov 26, 2019 17:30:32 IST