The Union government forced 12 senior tax officials to retire from their jobs over allegations of misconduct such as fraud, extortion and sexual harassment. Eight of them are being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation on corruption charges. This is the first time the government has made such a move against so many officials accused of corruption and malpractice.
The 12, all from the Indian Revenue Service (IRS), included seven commissioners – one of the topmost ranks in the Income Tax department; one joint commissioner, three additional commissioners and an assistant commissioner.
The orders were issued against: joint commissioner of income-tax Ashok Kumar Aggarwal (civil code 85042), commissioner 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), additional commissioner Andasu Ravindar (91110), additional commissioner Vivek Batra (92075), additional commissioner Chander Sain Bharti (94086) and assistant commissioner Ram Kumar Bhargava (145FF).
One of the most serious allegations was against an officer who is alleged to have amassed assets worth Rs 12 crore. The other was the official accused of sexual harassment. In the case of a third officer, investigators found wealth worth Rs 3 crore which was believed to have been generated by abusing official position to collect bribes.
One of the 12 officials was forced to retire for professional incompetence. “This person proved to be ineffective as a supervisory officer as he failed to ensure important cases with large tax implications were assigned to senior and experienced officers,” the official quoted above added.