Bhushan asks PM not to appoint 2 IRS officials | delhi | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Nov 18, 2017-Saturday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Bhushan asks PM not to appoint 2 IRS officials

Team Anna member and lawyer Prashant Bhushan has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh not to appoint two Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officials as indirect tax ombudsman, claiming their integrity was doubtful. HT reports.

delhi Updated: Sep 25, 2011 01:42 IST
HT Correspondents

Team Anna member and lawyer Prashant Bhushan has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh not to appoint two Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officials as indirect tax ombudsman, claiming their integrity was doubtful.

A finance ministry committee headed by revenue secretary R S Gujral had selected four officials --- S D Majumdar, Lalita John, H K Sharan and Rajendra Prakash --- as indirect tax ombudsmen for Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Lucknow respectively.

Of them, Bhushan said, Sharan and Prakash, did not have an impeccable record and they were investigated for alleged “malpractices” and “corrupt practices”.

Sharan, a 1975 batch IRS official, who retired as Director General of Inspection in Central Excise & Customs in June 2011, said there was no charge of corruption against him. “The case that CBI investigated closed long time back. Central vigilance commission and ministry of finance have given clean chit to me and I got promotion also after that,” he told HT.

Rajendra Prakash, a 1976 batch IRS officer and Chief Commissioner, Central Excise in Meerut, was not available for comments.

The Bhushan letter made two charges against Sharan. First, was that Sharan allowed pan masala units in Shillong to withdraw Rs 60 crore from escrow account to pay government dues. A government inquiry termed the withdrawal as illegal, his letter said.

Second, was the charge that Sharan, while posted in Delhi, obtained a law degree from Surinder Nath Law College in Kolkata as a regular student. The university of Kolkata confirmed that there was no distance education course for LLB during 1986-87 and 1996-97 when Sharan was said to have obtained the law degree and there was no provision of any relaxation in percentage of attendance.

“This shows either he was skipping the office or someone was impersonating for him to attend the college at Kolkata,” the lawyer, on whose petition Supreme Court had quashed appointment of former Chief Vigilance Commissioner P J Thomas, said.

In case of Prakash, Bhushan said two complaints against him were forwarded by the CVC to the CBI. A case was registered by CBI against Prakash in 2005 and in 2008 CBI recommended his prosecution in one of the caseds.

However, the case against him was closed in consultation with the CVC on basis of reported obtained from the Chief Commissioner of Central Excise and Customs saying there was no revenue loss, the letter said.

Citing these instances Bhushan urged the Appointment Committee of Cabinet to reject their names to uphold the fight against corruption. “The institution of indirect tax ombudsman is being established for the first time, therefore, it is all more important that the government must select persons with sterling character, impeccable integrity and upright behaviour,” the letter read.
Don't appoint tainted officials as tax ombudsmen: Bhushan asks PM


HT Correspondents
letters@hindustantimes.com
New Delhi Team Anna member and lawyer Prashant Bhushan has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh not to appoint two Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officials as indirect tax ombudsman, claiming their integrity was doubtful.

A finance ministry committee headed by revenue secretary R S Gujral had selected four officials --- S D Majumdar, Lalita John, H K Sharan and Rajendra Prakash --- as indirect tax ombudsmen for Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Lucknow respectively.

Of them, Bhushan said, Sharan and Prakash, did not have an impeccable record and they were investigated for alleged “malpractices” and “corrupt practices”.

Sharan, a 1975 batch IRS official, who retired as Director General of Inspection in Central Excise & Customs in June 2011, said there was no charge of corruption against him. “The case that CBI investigated closed long time back. Central vigilance commission and ministry of finance have given clean chit to me and I got promotion also after that,” he told HT.

Rajendra Prakash, a 1976 batch IRS officer and Chief Commissioner, Central Excise in Meerut, was not available for comments.

The Bhushan letter made two charges against Sharan. First, was that Sharan allowed pan masala units in Shillong to withdraw Rs 60 crore from escrow account to pay government dues. A government inquiry termed the withdrawal as illegal, his letter said.

Second, was the charge that Sharan, while posted in Delhi, obtained a law degree from Surinder Nath Law College in Kolkata as a regular student. The university of Kolkata confirmed that there was no distance education course for LLB during 1986-87 and 1996-97 when Sharan was said to have obtained the law degree and there was no provision of any relaxation in percentage of attendance.

“This shows either he was skipping the office or someone was impersonating for him to attend the college at Kolkata,” the lawyer, on whose petition Supreme Court had quashed appointment of former Chief Vigilance Commissioner P J Thomas, said.

In case of Prakash, Bhushan said two complaints against him were forwarded by the CVC to the CBI. A case was registered by CBI against Prakash in 2005 and in 2008 CBI recommended his prosecution in one of the caseds.

However, the case against him was closed in consultation with the CVC on basis of reported obtained from the Chief Commissioner of Central Excise and Customs saying there was no revenue loss, the letter said.

Citing these instances Bhushan urged the Appointment Committee of Cabinet to reject their names to uphold the fight against corruption. “The institution of indirect tax ombudsman is being established for the first time, therefore, it is all more important that the government must select persons with sterling character, impeccable integrity and upright behaviour,” the letter read.