The Centre on Tuesday “compulsorily retired” 15 senior customs and central excise officials who were facing corruption and bribery charges, reported PTI. Some of them were already under suspension.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by Clause (j) of rule 56 of the Fundamental Rules, the President of India has retired 15 Officers of Indian Revenue Service (C&CE) in public interest with immediate effect on completing 50 years of age,” the finance ministry said on Twitter.
Rule 56(j) provides for compulsory retirement of government staff in public interest but it has been invoked sparingly. 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 or she is liable for compulsory retirement.
Of these 15 officers, the Central Bureau of Investigation has filed cases against 11. Two others have cases filed by the Revenue Department, according to NDTV.
Among those sacked from service are Principal Commissioner Anup Srivastava. The CBI has filed two cases against him. The charges involve criminal conspiracy and bribery. Besides, he is accused of harassment, extortion, non-vacation of government flats and disproportionate assets. The other officers are Atul Dikshit, Sansar Chand, G Shree Harsha, Vinay Brij Singh, Ashok R Mahida, Virendrakr Agarwal, Amresh Jain, Nalin Kumar, SS Pabana, SS Bisht, Vinod Kumar Sanga, Raju Sekar, Ashok Kumar Aswal and Mohammad Altaf.
All the officers belong to the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs. They will be paid three months’ salary and allowances. “All these 15 officers shall be paid a sum equivalent to the amount of pay and allowances for a period of three months calculated at the same rate at which they were supposed to be withdrawing them (pay & allowances) immediately before their retirement,” the finance ministry said.
This comes a week after the government sacked 12 Income Tax officers on charges of corruption, forgery and professional misconduct. It also demoted four officers of joint commissioner rank to deputy commissioner rank over charges of corruption.