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Government retires 15 top customs officials

ANI | Updated: Jun 18, 2019 19:45 IST

New Delhi [India], Jun 18 (ANI): More than a fortnight after assuming office, the NDA government continued its 'operation clean-up' in the revenue department by forcibly retiring 15 senior customs officials including a Principal Commissioner and four Commissioners with immediate effect.
Though no reason was given for the decision to retire them compulsorily, the action on Tuesday comes just a week after 12 senior Income Tax officials were compulsorily retired on grounds of alleged corruption and sexual harassment charges.
"In exercise of the powers conferred by Clause (j) of Rule 56 of the Fundamental Rules, the President of India has retired 15 officers of Indian Revenue Service (IRS)(C&CE) in public interest with immediate effect on completing 50 years of age. These Officers are of the rank of Principal Commissioner, Commissioner, Addl. Commissioner, Dy. Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner etc," an official release said today.
"All these 15 Officers will be paid a sum equivalent to the pay and allowances for a period of three months calculated at the same rate at reach they are supposed to be withdrawing then (Pay & Allowances) immediately before their retirement," it said.
A separate order in each case to that effect has been issued today by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC).
Those retired today are Anup Kumar Srivastava, Principal ADG, Delhi Zonal Unit at DG(Audit); Atul Dikshit, Commissioner, now under suspension; Sansar Chand, Commissioner (AR), CESTAT, Kolkata; Gaddala Sree Harsha, Commissioner, DGPM, Chennai, and Vinay Brij Singh, Commissioner, now under suspension.
The others are Ashok Ratilal Mahida, Additional Commissioner, DG (Systems), Kolkata; Virendra Kuma Agarwal, Additional Commissioner, Nagpur GST Zone; Amresh Jain, Deputy Commissioner Delhi GST Zone; Nalin Kumar, Joint Commissioner, now under suspension; Surendra Singh Pabana, Assistant Commissioner, now under suspension; Surendra Singh Bisht, Assistant Commissioner at Bhubaneshwar GST Zone; Vinod Kumar Sanga, Assistant Commissioner, Mumbai Customs Zone-III; Raju Sekar, Additional Commissioner, Vizag GST Zone; Ashok Kumar Aswal, Deputy Commissioner, Directorate of Logistics, New Delhi and Mohd Altaf, Assistant Commissioner (AR), Allahabad.
Reacting to the government decision, Anup Kumar Srivastava, who is among the 15 officers of the customs department who have been sent on retirement with immediate effect, called the decision a case of "clear mala fide personal vendetta".
In a statement, Srivastava, who is also president of IRS Association, claimed, "My file for promotion to Chief Commissioner had gone to UPSC for review after due vigilance clearance. UPSC fixed December 20, 2018 for review. But new Revenue Secretary called back promotion file on December 19, 2018; a clear malafide personal vendetta and during last six months he has only been raising queries. Not in one go but piecemeal again shows his malafide (intent)."
"A Sad State. So friends, govt giving promotion 6 months back with back date and sending proposal for further promotions with all outstanding apar... and suddenly putting 56 j is obviously malafide, motivated and to destroy the Service and morale of the Service," his statement read. (ANI)