Chairman of CBDT says ‘bury case’; claims ‘acted against opposition leader to get to the top’

Alka Tyagi the then Chief Commissioner of Income Tax in Mumbai alleged Chairman of CBDT PC Mody asked her to bury ‘sensitive case’ and claimed he ‘acted against opposition leader to get to the top’

In a very uncommon complaint against the Chairman of the Central Board of Taxes Pramod Chandra Mody by Alka Tyagi, who was then Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (Unit 2) in Mumbai, she has described in detail how she was put under immense pressure by Mody in a nine-page complaint. She sent this complaint to the Finance Minister, and a similar complaint to the PMO on June 21, in less than a month after the new Government swore in as per a report in Indian Express.

Mody gave her a “shocking” directive to bury a “sensitive case” and claimed that he had “secured” his position at the top because of a “successful search” action against an Opposition leader.

Alka, an IRS officer of the’84 batch, alleges in that letter that a vigilance case filed against her was brought up by Mody again to use it as a “weapon of blackmail” against her to stall her posting. Almost two months after this complaint, PC Mody was rewarded an extension of one year to his tenure. Tyagi’s complaint alleges a string of irregularities that include how the CBDT chairman “repeatedly” asked Tyagi to drop “proceedings” in a “sensitive case’’ involving “serious allegations” reported Indian Express.

A break-in was reported by Tyagi in her office last month and she had submitted a written complaint about this to her senior, Principal Chief Commissioner S K Gupta.

Tyagi claims that in April/early May 2019, Mody told her to drop sensitive assesses that were initiated; and to wind up the work before the end of May 2019.

According to The Indian Express, the complaint reads: “This direction was shocking but it was conveyed repeatedly, despite the difficulty I expressed to him.” Mody instructed her, “There should be no record maintained of the fact that he was in any manner, involved in this sensitive case (which Mody asked to close) even for consultations and that it should be ensured that nothing in this file should ever show his linkage, in any manner to this case”. Tyagi has also said that the chairman put “tremendous pressure” on her “to close this file at any cost”.

Further, the complaint as quoted by Indian Express reads: “It was a herculean task to convince him (the Chairman) that once such information was received, the initiation of the action was mandatory, failing which the careers of the dealing officers would be jeopardised, probably resulting in vigilance proceedings being initiated against them. Even after this, Mr P C Mody directed that the draft of the notices would be approved by him. Here again, he failed to accord approval until the very end, despite being aware that he was jeopardising our careers”.

Tyagi’s office are currently working on the Deepak Kochhar-ICICI Bank case, notices sent to members of Mukesh Ambani’s family under the Black Money Act, the Jet Airways case, besides several important search cases. She further accuses Mody of “getting complaints manufactured against officers who do not succumb to his demands.”

However, when contacted by The Indian Express, Alka Tyagi said she doesn’t have any knowledge of the complaint, PC Mody did not respond, neither did Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman or the Interim CVC Sharad Kumar.

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