Arvind Kejriwal has decided to pay over Rs 9 lakh dues to the government so that his resignation from the IRS is accepted, a move seen as a reaction to blunt attacks on Team Anna from detractors.
43-year-old Kejriwal said his move should not be seen as admitting to the government's argument that he violated bond conditions and that he reserves his right to approach court against it.
"I have decided to pay back the dues. I will take loans from some friends," Kejriwal told PTI from Ralegan Siddhi.
Asked whether his decision to pay dues could be seen as admitting to the government's argument, he said, "I am doing it under protest and reserve the right to go to court. I will explain all this in my letter to the IT Department."
"I am paying the amount to avoid diversion of public debate from my issue to Lokpal," he said.
The Income Tax department has set October 27 as the deadline for him to pay the dues but he had failed to comply with it, saying he needed more time to consult his friends to take a final decision on the matter.
Kejriwal had taken study leave on full pay for two years from November 1, 2000 after signing a bond that he would return the salary if he resigns or retires or fails to resume duty within three years of his study leave.
He rejoined on November 1, 2002 but took non-paid leave after 18 months. Government argues that taking leave after 18 months was violation of bond conditions.
Kejriwal claimed that he did not "violate" any bond provisions and resigned from the job after the stipulated three years of rejoining duty following his study leave.
The Office of the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (CCIT) had on August five issued a notice to Kejriwal asking him to pay Rs 9.27 lakh, which Kejriwal and other Team Anna members had termed as an action of the government's "dirty tricks department" under instructions from political bosses.