After the victory of Modi government for second term, the Finance Ministry has taken a major decision, to clean up the income tax department and "compulsorily retired" a dozen high-ranking officers facing charges ranging from corruption and disproportionate assets to non-performance.
As per the media report, the finance ministry has invoked Rule 56J of the "fundamental rules" against the officers, citing "public interest". The action covers officers of the rank of commissioners, additional commissioners and assistant commissioners and it is understood that more such decisions are in the works.
The first step was taken of sending the message that unacceptable behavior will not be tolerated. There are some more officials with dubious records who have been under observation and they will face action too.
The government has focused on senior officers. The report stated that, three years ago, three senior tax officials were given marching orders using provisions of compulsory retirement.
PM Modi, in 2014, months after taking charge had told ministries that they should go ahead with culling employees who were not performing their duties satisfactorily. Since then, some departments, led by revenue, have initiated action against officers.
The government stated that the officials will be given pay and allowances for three months but will not be entitled to pension benefits.