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No office car, won’t attend

mumbai Updated: Sep 18, 2009 02:14 IST
Manish Pachouly

An Income Tax (I-T) Commissioner has decided to work from home. Not because of any austerity measures, but just because her vehicle is not being allowed to enter the premises of the Aaykar Bhavan — I-T’s head office in South Mumbai — on security grounds.

Ruby Srivastava has been given a Maruti SX4 hired by the department for commuting from home to office and back.

In an order to the staff, Srivastava said, “From last 7 to 8 days this vehicle is not allowed to enter into office premises on the pretext of security threat from the driver hired by the transport contractor.”

“It is equally true that I perceive the same security threat for my life from the driver of the transport contractor and hence I would not like to commute in the vehicle which is being driven by a driver seen as security threat as apprehended by the notice pasted on the barricade in front of Aaykar Bhavan,” she added in the order.

Copies of the order were pasted on the door of Srivastava’s office (room number 301) on the third floor of the building.

The dispute began when a notice, dated September 14 pasted in the Aaykar Bhavan premises prohibited hired and private vehicles to enter on security grounds.

The vehicles were asked to stop on the roadside, 10-meter away from the building. Only official government vehicles with staff drivers are allowed in the premises.

Due to shortage of government vehicles and staff drivers, the department hired cars from private transport contractors for over 100 commissioners. These vehicles have drivers provided by the transport contractors.

Srivastava has asked the administration to provide her with a vehicle along with a driver who does not pose a security threat to the administration.

“Under these circumstances, the hired vehicle provided will carry the files from the office to my home and back as I will be operating from my residence,” she said in the order.

When contacted Srivastava declined to talk about the issue and said that the order was for to intimate her staff.

Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Mumbai, R. K. Singh, said that he was not aware of Srivastava’s order.