A senior official who revealed that a dysfunctional computer system in the income tax (I-T) department had led to the loss of Rs 35,000 crore worth of tax in Mumbai, was suspended on Tuesday.
Director of Income Tax, Central Information Branch (CIB), Mumbai, A.C. Tejpal was hand delivered the suspension letter, a day after he spoke to Hindustan Times about the loss of tax due to the dysfunctional system.
The system failed to disseminate over 11.4 crore pieces of information on tax evasion, collected by the CIB from 2005-06 until now, to assessing officers or the investigation wing for further action. The information had details of unaccounted income worth over Rs one lakh crore, which would have yielded tax of Rs 35,000 crore.
The (suspension) letter said Tejpal was suspended as disciplinary proceedings were contemplated against him on account of misconduct on his part. Tejpal, said he was upset with the decision, and added: “I am ready to bear the personal loss, but will continue to fight to effect recovery of the tax that was deliberately allowed to be evaded.”
In his interview to Hindustan Times, Tejpal had said he suspected the information was held back because it contained details of illegal investments and spending by politicians, industrialists and bureaucrats. “This departmental exercise would have exposed them all,” he had said.
The suspension has angered I-T officials, who believe he was targeted because he attempted to speak against the top echelons of the government.
Officials said former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda could be nailed for tax evasion had the CIB report been made public.
“There are many such politicians who’ll be in trouble if the department acts on the CIB’s information,” another senior I-T official said.