In its ongoing drive against corrupt officials, the Narendra Modi government ‘compulsorily retired’ 22 senior tax officials on Monday. According to news agency ANI, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs CBIC compulsorily retired 22 senior officers. These officials were of the rank of Superintendent/AO. The step was taken under the Fundamental Rule 56 (J) in the public interest. These officials were facing corruption and other charges. According to latest media reports, the Centre is acting against such officials, who issue notices and summons to individuals and businesses for making some money. Earlier, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had made the announcement saying that all notices must issued through a centralised computer system.
Earlier, as many as 12 senior officers, including the Chief Commissioner, Principal Commissioners and the Commissioner of Income Tax Department were reportedly directed by the Finance Ministry to retire under Rule FR 56 (J) of the Central Civil Services (CCS) on Monday. As per the media reports, some of these officers are found guilty of corruption, having illegal and disproportionate assets and sexual assaults.
"12 senior officers of ranks of Chief Commissioner, Principal Commissioners and Commissioner of Income Tax Department compulsorily retired under Rule 56 by the Finance Ministry," a source close to the Finance Ministry told news agency ANI on the condition of anonymity.
The development comes days after the Cabinet Secretariat and the Central Vigilance Commission has instructed to the vigilance heads in many departments to expedite the process of identifying officers for compulsory retirement under Fundamental Rule 56(j) of Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972. The decision was taken in a bid to pinpoint the dead wood at the top rung of the bureaucracy, with a view to retiring several hundreds of non-performers over the next few months.
Under 56 (j), the performance of an officer who has turned 50 or 55 or has completed 30 years of service is being reviewed to ascertain if he/she is liable for compulsory retirement.
Though 56(j) have been in existance for several decades, the Narendra Modi government, in a first, has decided to make use of this rule, forcing several government employees to leave their service before scheduled superannuation on grounds of non-performance/lack of integrity.
Some of the recent high profile retirements under 56 (j) include - MN Vijaykumar (IAS), K Narasimha (IAS), Mayank Sheel Chohan (IPS) and Raj Kumar Dewangan (IPS).
The move, taken by the BJP government, is also expected to improve administrative efficiency and create jobs in various departments including the railways, armed forces, postal department, central schools over the next couple of years.