CBDT filed charge-sheet against three IRS officers for drafting and realising a report on Covid-19 Tax Without Any Authority

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CBDT filed charge-sheet against three IRS officers for drafting and realising a report on Covid-19 Tax Without Any Authority.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Monday filed a chargesheet against three IRS officers for drafting and realising a report on Covid-19 tax without any authority.
The three officers
 – Prashant Bhushan – 1988 batch IRS
– Prakash Dubey – 2001 batch and
– Sanjay Bahadur – 1989 batch IRS officer.
They have been identified as the key person behind the incident.
 All three officers have been divested of their current duties.
The CBDT has served the three officers a notice demanding an explanation for their conduct.
 They need to respond within 15 days.
Government termed the IRS officers’ tax increase report ‘irresponsible’, seeks explanation for misconduct
 The Finance Ministry sources have said today that an ill-conceived report  named as ‘FORCE’ put up by a group of officers through IRS Association giving suggestions on increasing the taxes, etc., in the difficult time of Covid-19 pandemic and releasing the same in the media through IRS Association’s twitter and website is ‘an irresponsible act’ of few officers. It is also reliably learnt that the explanation jaa been called by the Finmin and is taking it very stringently.  All over the globe , Government is offering incentives to boost the business sentiments but the over excited team of tax administration has proposed to kill the business by proposing tax measures like surcharge , wealth tax etc.
Fin Min sources said that neither IRS Association nor any group of officers mentioned in the said report were ever asked by the Government to give any report on the subject. In fact, it was not even part of their duty to prepare such a report.  Therefore, it is prima-facie an act of indiscipline and violation of conduct rules which specifically prohibits officers to go to media with their personal views on official matters without taking prior sanction or the permission of the government. The concerned officers will have to explain their misconduct. The Chairman, CBDT has been directed to seek explanation from these officers for writing such ‘ill-conceived views’ in public without having any authority to do so.
Fin Min sources said that so far as the suggestions given in the report are concerned, they do not reflect views of the CBDT or the Finance Ministry in any manner whatsoever. People should completely disregard such report. In fact, the Finance Ministry is doing its best to provide relief and liquidity into the system and ease the lives of people in these trying times. Towards this goal, during the last few weeks the government through various relief packages has operationalised a range of measures to minimize the impact of Covid-19 on Indian economy, people and the taxpayers and will not hesitate to take any further steps which may be needed.

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