Published On: Sat, Jun 29th, 2019

High Courts refuse relief to sacked 27 IRS officers

Kolkata: The two High Courts refused to interfere with the government orders against 27 Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officers dismissal on allegations of serious corruption charges.

CGST Commissioner Sansar Chand is part of 27 IRS officers dismissed on allegations of serious corruption charges.

Earlier this month, the government had invoked Section 56(j) of Fundamental Rules to compulsorily retire 15 IRS officers dealing with indirect taxes and 12 IRS officers of the income tax department over allegations of corruption and other wrongdoings.

The Kolkata High Court on Friday set aside two interim orders by the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) granting stay on the the compulsory retirement under the Section 56J of Fundamental Rules of two IRS officers.

The Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court had Thursday turned down a plea for relief by a compulsorily retired IRS officer on jurisdictional grounds.

The Calcutta High Court noted that the Single Judicial Member of CAT, Kolkata has committed judicial impropriety in passing impugned orders against compulsory retirement of IRS officers G S Harsha and Ashok R Mahida. The High Court raised questions on a Single Bench taking up a matter fit for consideration by a Division Bench.

Harsha and Mahida, are part of 27 IRS officers dismissed on allegations of serious corruption charges.

Earlier this month, the government invoked Section 56J of the Fundamental Rules to compulsorily retire 15 IRS officers dealing with indirect taxes (Customs and GST) and 12 IRS officers dealing with income tax.

A K Patnaik, a Kolkata Bench member of CAT had impugned the government order compulsorily retiring Harsha. Following this, the CAT Chairman transferred him to the Karnataka Bench on Friday.

The High Court further directed a hearing by Division Bench of CAT on remaining issues, in which the Patnaik shall not be a part.

The Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court in its order turned down the objection by sacked IRS officer Ram Kumar Bhargava on grounds that the Central Administrative Tribunal will decide on the preliminary objections before escalating the matter further. The Bench ordered the government to produce all the records including the personal file of IRS officer Ram Kumar Bhargava based on which he was compulsorily retired.

The court has also asked the government to provide a copy of decision of the Screening/Review Committee to Bhargava within a week. The matter will be heard after six weeks.

Under the Rule 56(j) of the Fundamental Rules, the performance of an officer who has turned 50 or 55 or has completed 30 years of service (whichever is earlier,) is being reviewed to ascertain whether he should be retained in service or retired from service in public interest.

TST

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