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Inquiry panel to begin probe against senior I-T officer
October, 05th 2011

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has constituted an inquiry committee to initiate proceeding against a senior income tax (I-T) officer, who had exposed a non-functional computer system in the department, that had resulted in a loss of around Rs35,000 crore in tax collection in the city.

The inquiry committee would be headed by a chief commissioner level officer, who will conduct hearing against former director of income tax, Central Information Branch (CIB), AC Tejpal for spoiling the name of the department and going against it.

The committee, which would start the hearing in a months time, is required to submit a report to the board in six months.

Hindustan Times had on May 25, 2010 reported how Tejpal exposed the non-functional computer system that failed to disseminate 11.4 crore pieces of information pertaining to unaccounted income and that was gathered by the CIB, to the concerned field officers, leading to a loss of Rs35,000 crore to the city. The information concerned was from 2005-06 to 2009-10.

THE EFFECT

However, this inquiry could spell trouble for many former and present finance ministry officials, senior I-T officials and board members, who had failed to take note of the non-functional system and also failed to take action despite Tejpal bringing it to their notice. This is because Tejpal would also be given a fair chance to present his case and he could call witnesses to prove his side, a board official said.

Tejpal had written about the non-functional system to senior CBDT members and I-T officials. However, instead of taking action on Tejpals letters, the board suspended him on May 26, 2010, a day after he spoke to HT.

Tejpal was reinstated from August 1 as commissioner of income tax, but has not been given any charge. He is getting 50% of his salary pending inquiry against him.

The board had also last year in July constituted a three-member committee that was looking into Tejpals allegations on loss of tax because of non-functional computer system. Even as this committee is yet to submit a report, the board has constituted another inquiry committee under a chief commissioner to initiate proceedings against Tejpal.

The official also said that the committee would be like a judicial court and will have power to issue summons.

After the committee submits a report, action would be decided depending on its content, the official said.

 
 
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