Port Wings News Network:
After sacking errant income tax officers, the government on 18 June 2019 dismissed 15 senior customs and central excise officials, including one of the ranks of principal commissioner, from service on charges of corruption and bribery, according to a report in Business Standard quoting news agency the PTI.
Invoking rule 56(j) of the Fundamental Rules, the government has sacked these Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) officers ranging from the ranks of Principal Commissioner to Assistant Commissioner, some of whom were already under suspension, according to a Finance Ministry order.
These officers either had corruption cases registered against them by the CBI or were involved in bribery, extortion and disproportionate assets cases, Finance Ministry sources said.
Among those dismissed include Principal Commissioner Anup Srivastava, who was serving as Principal ADG (Audit) in the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) in Delhi, and Joint Commissioner Nalin Kumar, the order said.
Sources told that the CBI had in 1996 registered a criminal conspiracy case against him and alleged that he had shown favours to a house building society which was trying to obtain NOC for land purchases in violation of law.
The CBI had booked another case against him in 2012 for allegedly demanding and accepting bribe from an importer to cover up a duty evasion case. He also had complaints of selective arrests, harassment and extortion against him.
Joint Commissioner Nalin Kumar, who was under suspension, had CBI cases against him relating to allowing fraudulent drawback and disproportionate assets, too was dismissed from service on 18 June 2019.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (j) of rule 56 of the Fundamental Rules, the President of India has retired 15 Officers of Indian Revenue Service (C&CE) in public interest with immediate effect on completing 50 years of age,” a Finance Ministry tweet said.
All these 15 officers shall be paid a sum equivalent to the amount of pay & allowances for a period of 3 months calculated at the same rate at which they were supposed to be withdrawing them (pay & allowances) immediately before their retirement, it added.
Rule 56(j) of the Fundamental Rules allows the appropriate authority to retire any government servant, in public interest, by giving notice of three months.
Commissioner in Kolkata Sansar Chand, who was allegedly involved in bribery, while Chennai-based Commissioner G Shree Harsha, who had a disproportionate asset case to the extent of Rs 2.24 crore, too were sacked. In case of these two officers, CBI had laid a trap and nabbed them.
Two commissioner rank officers — Atul Dikshit and Vinay Brij Singh— who were under departmental suspension too have been dismissed from service by the government.
While Dikshit had disproportionate asset case and a CBI case of fraudulent drawback against him, Singh had a DRI case against him of over-invoicing.
Deputy Commissioner Amresh Jain of the Delhi GST zone, who had a Rs 1.55 crore disproportionate asset case and cash recovery of Rs 95.24 lakh against him, was also sacked.
The other customs and central excise officers who were dismissed from service include Additional Commissioner Ashok Mahida (DG Systems, Kolkata), Additional Commissioner Virendra Agarwal.
Besides, Assistant Commissioners — S S Pabana (under suspension), S S Bisht (Bhubaneshwar GST zone), Vinod Sanga (Mumbai GST zone), Raju Sekar (Vizag GST zone), Mohd Altaf (in Allahabad) — and Deputy Commissioner Ashok Aswal (Directorate of Logistics, Delhi) too have been ‘compulsorily retired’ by the government, the order said.
It may be noted that during the second week of June, the government had sacked 12 Income-Tax officers on charges of corruption, forgery and professional misconduct, besides demoting four Joint Commissioner rank I-T officers to Deputy Commissioner rank over charges of corruption.
IRS officer, sacked over alleged corruption, accuse Revenue Secy of personal vendetta
Senior bureaucrat Anup Kumar Srivastava, who was dismissed from service on Tuesday over alleged corruption, has accused Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey of personal vendetta against him.
Srivastava, head of Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise) Officers Association, said the allegations of corruption levelled against him are wrong and that he has already been acquitted by courts that heard these matters.
“My file for promotion to Chief Commissioner had gone to UPSC from the department after due vigilance clearance and UPSC had fixed the date for review DPC for December 20, 2018. But, the new Revenue Secretary (Pandey) called back the promotion file on December 19, 2018. A clear malafide personal vendetta,” he said in a statement. Pandey could not be immediately reached for comments.
Srivastava, a 1984 batch IRS (Customs and Central Excise) officer, was working as Principal Additional Director General, Audit, in Delhi.
He is among 15 IRS officers dismissed from service over allegations of corruption and other charges.
Srivastava said the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), the top policy making body for his service, under the Finance Ministry “has no spine” and it could not sustain unjustified pressure of the Revenue Secretary to invoke FR 56 (J) of fundamental rule to compulsory retire him.
“How will the board (CBIC) protect the service? A sad state. All the allegations against me are false. I have won in High Court and Supreme Court because of my uprightness,” Srivastava said.