Operation clean up: A dozen IT officials undergo ‘forced retirement’ for amassing wealth, sexual abuse
In a major crackdown on corruption, the Finance Ministry has invoked Rule 56 (j) of Central Civil Services (CCS) and imposed forced retirement on 12 brass level Income Tax officials. The charges levied against them include extortion, bribe and sexual harassment. The orders were issued by Ministry of Finance and it will come into effect from Tuesday afternoon.
The axe has fallen on Joint Commissioner of Income Tax, New Delhi (ITAT-1) Ashok Kumar Aggarwal and Commissioner - Tamil Nadu Homi Rajvansh have been fired on charges of corruption, while Commissioner, Noida Sanjay Kumar Srivastava on charges of sexual harassment filed by two women IRS officers. Other Income Tax officials to be dismissed include Commissioners BB Rajendra Prasad - Gujarat; Ajoy Kumar Singh - Kolkota; Alok Kumar Mitra - Kochi; Arulappa B – Kochi and Dr Swetabh Suman (under suspension) –Guwahati and additional commissioners Ram Kumar Bhargava – Lucknow; Andasu Ravindar-Bhuwaneshwar, Vivek Batra – Tamil Nadu and Chander Saini Bharti – Allahabad.
All 12 officers had attained 50 years of age and are being forced to relinquish at least 10 years in service in advance. The government has offered them three months salary and allowances in lieu of the forced early superannuation.
Under the section 56 (j), the performance of an officer who has turned 50 or 55 or has completed 30 years of service (whichever is earlier) allows to be reviewed to ascertain if he/she is liable for compulsory retirement.
Other high profile forced punishments that took place immediately after Modi rule came into existence in 2014 included of IAS officers MN Vijaykumar, K Narasimha and IPS officers Mayank Sheel Chohan and Raj Kumar Dewangan.