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The Supreme Court today expressed displeasure over the tardy pace of probe by the Income Tax department into the tax evasion cases linked to 2G spectrum case, saying it wanted “results”.

A bench of justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly directed the department to file a detailed report on action taken by it during the last three years when it got a complaint in this regard and began tapping corporate lobbyist Niira Radia”s telephone.

“The IT department must be quicker. This is not a normal case of tax evasion. It (probe) should have been done fast. These are not ordinary cases to be handled in ordinary way,” the bench said.

The department, however, defended its ongoing probe saying that the investigation has entered the “fifth layer” and the approach towards the case has not been tardy.

The court, however, was not satisfied and said, “We are not concerned about layers but results.”

The bench allowed the IT department to approach the special judge, trying the 2G case, to interrogate company officials who are in judicial custody for their alleged role in the scam. .

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  1. Nisban says:

    Yes, what Mr. Banerjee says is not far from truth. The power over a department or a so-called civil service is actually exerted by the people with the unlimited powers and unquestioned and non-transparent system of transferring and posting of the officers. The income tax department is merely a subordinate office under the department of revenue (headed by law by an IAS officer) which is under the ministry of finance. Though the chairman of the statutory body of CBDT is technically the apex of the department, he is actually under revenue secretary and also the CSS juniors in rank who decide and control the destiny and fate of a misnomer called IRS. The latter join in, serve in and retire from Delhi (in many cases from the same ministry/same premises as recently reported resulting from a scintillating study, but sice hushed up by the topmost civil servant since the CSS is the alter ego of the IAS) and never suffer the vagaries, uncertainties and insecurity plus inconvenience of transfers to the most inconvenient and distant stations. This is the real power of these underlings of the IAS wielding life-long control over the lives of the IRS officers’ families as a whole under the total protective support of the IAS which is fed by it. There lies the roots of the biggest moneyspinner called the “transfer-posting” industry in the Revenue departments which need no investment with skyhigh returns shaming the CWG and 2G nettings. And without any stake, since noyjing is recorded in the file notings. The officers wanting genuine transfers or not wanting are called over verbally from unlisted phones to the CBDT (Ad. VI section) or their representative CAS/Advocates with franchises all over the country and blackmailed to pay bribes, spend on “beds and beddings” and bottles in guesthouses/hotels. The turnover is very mindboggling since this threating calls go on throughout the year and those interested in “wet” posting in greener pastures are prepared to pay crores (naturally paid by the lobbies who want their pedegreed pet dogs to guard their illgotten wealth). This resulted in the unearthing of a big scandal involving a sitting MOS, his staff, some rather dubious practotioners and many officers in the relevant section of the Revenue department again headed by a JS from IAS and manned entirely by the CSS without any stake in or commitment to ensure moral (sic) and professional standards in a most llowly placed central service devoted to maintaining the accounts of the rich people- big business, powerful industry houses, filmdom, politicians, the underworld dons and, of course, the innumerable corrupt IAS/bureaucrats (c.f. the Joshi couple of the IAS from the MP cadre?), CSS, police, railways, post and telegraph, CGHS/Health Services searches in whose houses are bound to unearth black money beyond the reach of the underworld/politicians taken together. Hence, the result of any investigation by the income tax is bound to come to a big zero while the postings in the relevant “Wings” are openly on sale. The supreme Court may like to consider if some unwanted and unpopular but honest retired officers known once for their investigative skills can be taken into the panel to oversee the work and to stall the interference of the bureaucratic menace.

  2. A. Banerjee says:

    It is submitted with respect that, the academic powers vested in the authorities of the income-tax department, the department is actually a puppet in the hands of the power-that-be and that also explains the rampant corruption in the rank and file in it. The Supreme Court’s displeasure is not going to affect the officers entrusted with the job, since they have already obtained “outstanding reports” on the basis of the now-proved-bogus work done by them, as the financial year is over. In any case, there has never been any tradition of proper assessment and evaluation of the work in this sensitive (though subordinate) department on the basis of true quality of work, integrity and mettle of the officers/staff. Rather, this is determined not by any amount of strictures by the judicial authorities but entirely dictated by the “personal services” rendered to the superiors, networking abilities and its bandwidth and also political connections. Hence, it is again submitted with respect to their Lordships that none in the department (and in the entire bureaucracy as a whole) is really bothered by/about the judicial admonitions.

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April 2024