Within a month of assuming office for his second term, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has started fulfilling what he promised- axing corruption. His quote, “na khaunga na khane dunga” after BJP’s landslide victory seems to be coming true after the Indian government demanded resignation from top 12 senior income tax officers following charges of extortion, bribe, and sexual abuse.
Cleanup Drive Of Modi 2.0 Govt.
In its statement, the Finance Ministry said, “Twelve senior officers with the ranks of Chief Commissioner, Principal Commissioners and Commissioner of Income Tax Department compulsorily retired under Rule 56 by the Finance Ministry.” Many believe that this is a cleanup drive of the current Modi 2.0 government.
Reports say that most of these sacked officers were involved in corruption and were facing charges of illegally owning disproportionate assets as well as sexual harassment.
Officers Booked For Corruption And Sexual Asset
At the top of this list is Joint Commissioner rank officer Ashok Agarwal who is facing serious corruption and extortion complaints filed by businessmen. He has also been repeatedly accused of aiding Chandraswami, the self-styled godman.
Another officer included in this list is SK Srivastava, an IRS officer serving as Commissioner (Appeal), Noida. He was accused of sexually harassing two women IRS officers of Commissioner rank. Homi Rajvansh and BB Rajendra Prasad are the two other officers in the list. Rajvansh (IRS, 1985) has allegedly acquired both immovable and movable assets of Rs. 3 crore in his and family’s name.
Prasad has been accused of obtaining illegal gratification against passing a favorable appeal order in a case. Other officers include Ajoy Kumar Singh (CIT), B. Arulappa (CIT), Alok Kumar Mitra, Andasu Ravindar, Chander Saini Bharti, Swetabh Suman, Ram Kumar Bhargava, and Vivek Batra.
The government can demand compulsory retirement from civil servants under the Fundamental Rule 56 (j) of Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972. In the past, it has been used very rarely but its application by the Modi Government seems to be significant especially in the current conditions where every day new cases of bribery are coming to light.