The Union government on Monday forced 12 senior Income Tax officials of the Ministry of Finance to retire, reports said.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (j) of rule 56 of the Fundamental Rules, the President of India has retired 12 Officers of the Indian Revenue Service (Income Tax) in public interest with immediate effect from the afternoon of June 11, 2019 on completing 50 years of age,” The Hindu quoted a Finance Ministry circular as saying on Monday.

Unidentified officials in the Ministry of Finance said the complaints against the 12 officials include corruption, extortion, thwarting the promotion of colleagues, sexual harassment and acquisition of movable and immovable assets that were not disclosed to the proper authorities.

The 12 officials will be given three months pay and allowances. The officials are all of the rank of chief commissioners, principal commissioners, or commissioners of income tax.

An unidentified official said in some cases the officials had been suspended and even arrested by prosecuting agencies, Hindustan Times reported. “One dismissed official was already under suspension from 1999 to 2014 because of serious complaints of corruption and major extortion,” the official said. “Another official was dismissed as he was accused of sexual harassment by two women officers of commissioner rank.”

Rule 56(j) provides for compulsory retirement of government staff in public interest, but it has been invoked sparingly, according to News18. Under this section, the performance of an officer who has turned 50 or 55 or has completed 30 years of service (whichever is earlier) is reviewed to ascertain if he/she is liable for compulsory retirement.