War on corruption: Modi govt sacks 22 more tainted tax officers

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Published: August 26, 2019 2:04:19 PM

This is the third large scale sacking of tainted tax officers by the Modi government in its second term.

Narendra Modi, CBIC, Tax Officers, Sacked, Fundamental Rules, CBI, CBDT, IRS,Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation during Independence Day celebrations at Red Fort in New Delhi on Thursday (Express Photo: Neeraj Priyadarshi)

In a major crackdown against corrupt tax officials, the Modi government Monday sacked 22 more officers in the rank of superintendent and Appraising Officers. This is the third large scale sacking of tax officials by the Modi government in its second term. Earlier it had sacked 15 top officials of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) and 12 Income Tax officers in June, within two weeks after Prime Minister Modi took charge for the second term. These officers have been sacked in public interest due to corruption and other charges and traps laid by the CBI, said sources in the finance ministry.

The Union government invoked section 56(J) of Fundamental Rules to sack these officers in the public interest. Rule 56 of Fundamental Rules states that the appropriate authority has the absolute right to retire, if it is necessary to do so in public interest, a government servant under Fundamental Rules 56 (j), (i) or Rule 48 (1) (b) of CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972.

Supreme Court has already held that under Fundamental Rules, the government is not even required to show-cause the officer before prematurely terminating his services.

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According to finance ministry sources, the decision is in line with Prime Minister Modi stern warning to corrupt tax officials.

“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,” Prime Minister Modi had said in his address from the Red Fort and also in interviews with media.

With the third round of sacking of 22 CBIC officers on Monday, total 49 tax officers of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) have been sacked within three months of Prime Minister Modi’s second term.

Earlier the government had sacked 15 senior officials of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) on June 15. Prior to that, it had sacked 12 officers of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on June 10.

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