Distancing itself from the controversy of Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal's pending resignation, the Prime Minister's Office denied that it had asked for a report on the matter.
The response came following reports that the case of Kejriwal's dues of Rs 9.27 lakh and his pending resignation were being tracked at the highest levels of government.
Replying to an RTI plea filed by activist S C Agrawal, the PMO said, "No such records are available,'' when asked if the PMO had asked the revenue department for a report. Kejriwal had written to PM Manmohan Singh last week enclosing a cheque of Rs 9 lakh.
In the communication, he had said that this should not be seen as an admission of a mistake and he was "returning the pending dues'' under protest.
An Indian Revenue Service officer, Kejriwal was slapped a notice from the I-T department asking him to pay his dues for his application for VRS to be accepted. The issue had been kept in the backburner for some time but in a notice issued on August 6, the I-T department demanded the amount be paid.
The notice came just days before activist Anna Hazare went on his hunger strike. The department had recently issued another notice asking the Team Anna member to pay up by October 27 - a deadline Kejriwal missed.
The Chief Commissioner of Income Tax issued a notice asking Kejriwal to clear the dues alleging that he violated bond clauses under which he went for a study leave for two years. Kejriwal claimed he "did not violate" any bond provision and he resigned from the job after the stipulated three years of rejoining duty after study leave.
Kejriwal had taken study leave on full pay for two years from November 1, 2000 and he rejoined office on November 1, 2002 after signing a bond that he would refund the salary if he resigned or retired or failed to resume duty within three years of his study leave.
However, the government is of the view that unpaid leave cannot be recognized as active service and Kejriwal should have worked in the department for three years before giving his resignation. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had in fact recommended in 2008 that dues against Kejriwal be waived off but the department of personnel and training did not agree to the proposition.
In a letter dated April 22, 2008, the government asked I-T department to "kindly recover pending dues from Kejriwal as per leave rule and furnish a no dues certificate so that his resignation may be submitted for approval of competent authority''.
Sources said CBDT had approached DoPT a second time earlier this month but the government had ruled that no exception could be made.