Centre compulsorily retires 12 senior I-T officers for corruption, extortion & misconduct

Finance Ministry issued the orders on Monday, which will come into effect from Tuesday afternoon on completing 50 years of age, the ministry said.

The government has compulsorily retired 12 senior Indian Revenue Service (income tax) officers, including one of the rank of the joint commissioner, following charges of corruption, extortion and professional misconduct against them. Finance Ministry issued the orders on Monday, which will come into effect from Tuesday afternoon on completing 50 years of age, the ministry said.

The officers who have been ousted include Ashok Agarwal (IRS 1985 batch), Joint Commissioner Income Tax, S K Srivastava (IRS 1989 batch), Commissioner (Appeal), Noida, Homi Rajvansh (IRS 1985 batch), B B Rajendra Prasad, Ajoy Kumar Singh (CIT) and B Arulappa (CIT). Other names in the list include Alok Kumar Mitra, Chander Saini Bharti, Andasu Ravindar, Vivek Batra, Swetabh Suman and Ram Kumar Bhargava.

A similar action under Rule 56 (j) was taken by the government in May 2016 when 33 officials of the Revenue Services, including seven Group A officers, were prematurely retired for non-performance under Rule 56 (j) of CCS (Pension) Rules. All Central government employees are governed by the fundamental rules (FR) and the Central Civil Services (CCS) rules and compulsory retirement is a provision in both of them. The Finance Ministry has cited Rule 56 (j) of Fundamental Rules for the recent step.

Finance Ministry sources said Ashok Agarwal, who remained suspended from 1999 to 2014, had serious complaints of corruption and major extortion from businessmen accused of helping self-styled godman Chandraswami. CBI had launched prosecution on charge of acquiring disproportionate assets worth Rs 12 crore in 2005 and departmental proceedings were initiated in early 2000, they said.

Srivastava was accused of sexual harassment of two women IRS officers of Commissioner rank, while Rajvansh had allegedly acquired movable and immovable assets worth over Rs 3.17 crore in the name of self and his family members. These movable and immovable properties had allegedly been acquired by abusing his official position and by corrupt and illegal means, sources said. Rajvansh was arrested by CBI after absconding from his headquarters to evade arrest and was also placed under suspension following his arrest, they said.

Ajoy Kumar Singh had a disproportionate assets case registered against him by the anti-corruption branch of the CBI, and was suspended from service in October 2009 pending criminal prosecution, sources said. Mitra was also allegedly involved in cases of corruptions and extortion and is alleged to have passed many wrongs and malafide assessment orders which were later on reversed by the appellate authorities. Bharti is alleged to have disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs 1.55 crore, which is 133.71 per cent of his known sources of income and using hawala channels for transferring the ill-gotten money.

Ravindar, another officer of Commissioner rank, was arrested by CBI with Rs 50 lakh with him and is alleged to have acquired assets in his name and in the name of his wife of about Rs 81 lakh, sources said. Batra has been accused by CBI in 2005 of abuse of his official position to accumulate assets disproportionate to his known sources of income amounting Rs 1.27 crore, they said.

Another officer, Suman, was accused of demanding Rs 50 lakh as bribe for providing relief to a businessman in a shell company matter and abusing his official position as a public servant to acquire immovable/movable assets from his ill-gotten money amounting to Rs 3.13 crore, they said.

All these 12 officers shall be paid a sum equivalent to the amount of pay & allowances for a period of three months calculated at same rate at which they were supposed to be withdrawing them (pay & allowances) immediately before their retirement, the ministry said.