NEW DELHI: Under attack from Team Anna and the Opposition for Income Tax office slapping a notice on activist Arvind Kejriwal to pay dues, government on Friday said it has no intention of being “revengeful” and described the development as a “routine affair”.
“It is unfair that allegations are made against government departments about their routine duties. If there are dues, they have to be paid. It certainly does not build up a case of Government versus anybody. Why we should be oppressive and revengeful,” Law Minister Salman Khurshid told reporters at the briefing of the GoM on media.
Khurshid, who was a key negotiator from the government side first during the drafting of the Lokpal bill and then at the peak of the government-Team Anna standoff, said the government has had a good common ground with civil society members including from Anna Hazare team on Lokpal issue.
“I can say on behalf of the government that this is not the inclination of the government to get notices sent to them from whom we are expecting cooperation,” Khurshid said.
Dismissing questions on why the notice was given to Kejriwal just a few days before Hazare was to begin his protest fast on August 16, he said, “I cannot answer why it happened at a particular time.”
“The thing is that If I have to pay a due, I will have to do it. If some body has to pay electricity dues, he has to do it. Should we give immunity to some body because, he has organized an agitation? The appropriate question should be whether there is any basis for the notice that was given or not…” Khurshid said to a volley of questions on the issue.
Team Anna today alleged that the government was back to its “dirty tricks department” and that officials were pressurised by “political bosses” to act against them.
BJP also raised questions over notices sent to Kejriwal and Yoga guru Ramdev asking Government to come clear on whether they were intentional or merely coincidental.
Other than IT office’s notice to Kejriwal to pay dues of Rs 9.27 lakh, Team Anna also referred to a Delhi Police report which said a CD purported to contain conversation between lawyer Shanti Bhushan and political leaders was genuine. Notices for breach of privilege have also been moved in Parliament against Kiran Bedi.
“This shows that the government has not learnt any lessons. The smear campaign is still on…They are back to dirty tricks. They are back to the dirty tricks department,” lawyer and Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan told a press conference along with Kejriwal and Bedi here.