I-T officers body condemns Gadkari's 'threat', demands apology
The All India Indian Revenue Service Association (AIIRSA), the apex representative body of income tax department officials, on Sunday condemned former BJP president Nitin Gadkari for his recent threats to settle scores with them in a vengeful manner for conducting raids on business interests associated with his Purti Group, and demanded that he give them an immediate apology.
The apex body said that Gadkari's uncalled for remarks was hindering a free and fair probe into Purti Group investments and sought security for those officers handling the case.
"The IRS Association (All India Body) has noted with deep concern and shock, the news-item appearing in the national dailies regarding the alleged threat issued by Shri Nitin Gadkari to the officers of the Income-Tax Department investigating the case of suspected tax-evasion by certain companies," the body said in its resolution issued today.
The AIIRSA condemned the use of "such intemperate language by a politician of national stature with intention to thwart the rule of law and demands an unconditional apology from him."
"The statement issued by Shri Gadkari is derogatory for the Service and his threat is aimed to hinder free and fair investigations into a matter of alleged tax evasion," said the resolution passed in a meeting held in the national capital.
"The Association demands that the authorities responsible for maintaining law and order in Maharastra take suo-motu cognisance of the utterances made by him as it is clearly meant to obstruct a Government Servant from discharging his duty," the resolution said.
"IRS Association would like to state that the IRS officers have been appointed to the Indian Revenue Service by the Hon'ble President of India on their own merit and continue to hold their position in the Government by dint of their hard work and not because of the patronage of one or the other political party.
"The Association also requests the authorities to provide adequate security to the concerned officers," it said.
The IRS (I-T) is a 4,000-strong body and it is deployed in the country under the umbrella of the tax department and on deputation to other enforcement and investigative agencies for tax collection, checking evasion and a variety of other duties in this domain.
Gadkari had issued the threat on January 24 in Nagpur, a day after he demitted the office of the BJP president.
Income-tax department offices in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur have been probing investments of alleged shell companies in the Purti Group and the authorities have even summoned Gadkari in person on February 1 as part of this probe.