At least 22 senior tax officers have been forced into retirement for their alleged roles in corruption cases and links with other charges, sources said today, days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi told a newspaper the centre was aware of "some black sheep in the tax administration".
In a similar move in June, 27 high-ranking Indian Revenue Service officers, including 12 from the Central Board of Direct Taxes, were given compulsorily retirement after they were named in alleged corruption cases.
The latest action is in line with what PM Modi said in his address to the nation on Independence Day and also in his interview with The Economic Times earlier this month, sources 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 have recently taken the bold step of compulsorily retiring a significant number of tax officials, and we will not tolerate this type of behaviour," PM Modi had said.
According to sources, the names of the 22 tax officers who have been forced into retirement are: KK Uikey, SR Parate, Kailash Verma, KC Mandal, MS Damor, RS Gogiya, Kishore Patel, JC Solanki, SK Mandal, Govind Ram Malviya, AU Chhapargare, S Asokaraj, Deepak M Ganeyan, Pramod Kumar, Mukesh Jain, Navneet Goyal, Achintya Kumar Pramanicik, VK Singh, DR Chaturvedi, D Ashok, Leela Mohan Singh and VP Singh.
The officers belong to tax units of cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Meerut and Chennai. The corruption charges they face range from asking for bribe for a few thousand rupees to lakhs. One of them was charged for allegedly taking a cut of 58 grams of gold from a man who landed in Delhi airport from Dubai carrying 1,224 grams of gold.
One of the officers, Govind Ram Malviya, was in charge of assessing seized imported goods such as women's undergarment and sex toys, and he allegedly cleared 10 out of 179 consignments, resulting in loss of customs duty up to Rs 1.01 crore, sources said.
In June, senior officer SK Srivastava was among the 12 forced into retirement. The 56-year-old officer, who was the Commissioner of Appeal in Gautam Budh Nagar near Delhi, was accused of sexually harassing two women officers of the Revenue Service. The 1989-batch officer accused the women of corruption, prostitution and evasion of taxes.
Government documents in possession of NDTV says he got a petition filed through a former MP, Jai Narayan Nishad, that said the women officers managed a huge income through corruption and prostitution.
He allegedly put pressure on assessing officers to pass orders against them, adding alleged income of bribery and prostitution, and forced senior officials to confirm the order. "It is his standard tactics to coerce the senior and other departmental officers to fall in his line or else he starts defamatory campaign against such officers," the government dossier read.