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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

'VIP threatened me for winning tax case for govt'

Nagendar Sharma, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 20, 2012
First Published: 23:44 IST(20/11/2012) | Last Updated: 01:14 IST(21/11/2012)

A senior government law officer whose tenure ended barely 10 days ago, has dropped a bombshell, saying he was given a "veiled threat" by an important person for having argued and won an important tax matter for the government in September.

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Bishwajit Bhattacharyya, who served as an additional solicitor general (ASG) till November 9, has made this revelation in his book 'My experience with the office of ASG of India'. "I was humiliated and got a feeling that certain people wanted to ease me out as a law officer."

Recounting his three-year experience, he says he was shocked at the feedback he got after having won a case in the Supreme Court which resulted in excise department getting around Rs. 432 crore.

"My opponents suffered biggest disappointment on August 29, 2012… Paradoxically, however, gloom descended in certain quarters," Bhattacharyya wrote.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/11/21-11-pg8b.jpg

 "The feedback that I received after the judgement was shocking about which I cannot write. One important person on September 7 went to the extent of giving me a veiled threat," the senior lawyer stated.

Contacted by HT on who threatened him, he said: "It is there in my communication with the government. Beyond it, please excuse me."  

The former ASG has come down heavily on the law ministry-controlled central agency, which is responsible for handling government's cases in the Supreme Court, for its lack of professional efficiency and accountability.

 In another example of strange style of government functioning, Bhattacharyya stated that despite a written note from Attorney General GE Vahanvati, marking some cases to him in September last year, a file related to an important cases never reached him.

"Among the cases marked to me was a big case pertaining to alleged evasion of customs duty on import of aircraft. I was told the case had widespread revenue implications ...but the matter did not reach me for hearing," he wrote.


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