New Delhi: Following a letter sent by the income tax (IT) department to Arvind Kejriwal, Right to Information (RTI) activist and supporter of Anna Hazare, Kejriwal has dismissed charges of violating the bond signed with the IT department. Kejriwal, who was an Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer, has been asked by the department to pay dues amounting to Rs 9.27 lakhs on account of violation of a bond agreement.
“This notice is not being sent by the IT department but by the political bosses above them...I have not faulted in giving any dues, in fact I have not violated the bond itself so why should I pay the dues,” Kejriwal said while addressing reporters on Friday. While the IT department has said that it has sent repeated reminders to Kejriwal to clear his dues for issue of a no-dues certificate, Kejriwal maintained that no letter was sent to him in the last four years.
An IT department official said that Kejriwal’s study leave, was approved for the period 1 November, 2000 to 30 October 2002. He was paid his full salary, after he signed a bond stating that he will work for at least 3 years after he resumes office. The IT department said that Kejriwal however did not work for three years after returning from his study leave. ”He worked for one year and then went on extraordinary leave for 2 years following which he quit”, said an income tax department official. Kejriwal resumed service on 1 November 2002 but proceeded on extraordinary leave from 1 November 2003 for two years. ”The period when he went on extraordinary leave was without pay and cannot be considered a part of normal service”. The official added that though the central board of direct taxes had recommended a waiver of Kejriwal’s dues, it was rejected by the department of personnel and training.
Lawyer and supporter, Prashant Bhushan added that he was soon going to file a contempt of court against Amar Singh and police officials in regard to the audio conversation that had voice of his father and lawyer, Shanti Bhushan.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has raised questions over the government sending notices to activists like Kejriwal and Baba Ramdev. “It is very amusing and rather very incidental that all these people who have raised their voice against the Government end up landing up with notices,” party leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.
In a seperate development, Udit Raj, chairman of All India Confederation of SC/ST Organizations, submitted his version of the Bahujan Lokpal Bill to the ombudsman’s standing committee chairman Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Friday.
PTI contributed to this story.