Tax tribunal sets aside retrospective orders passed by ex-IRS officer SK Srivastava
BusinessToday.In January 12, 2021
The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) has set aside backdated orders passed by tainted former IRS officer Sanjay Kumar Srivastava following his compulsory retirement in 2019 as "not sustainable in the eyes of law."
Srivastava, who was compulsorily retired by the government on June 11, 2019 on charges of corruption and misconduct, had no jurisdiction to pass the orders, the tribunal observed.
It added that following his retirement, he had become "functus officio" - an officer who has no further legal authority or legal effect - and accordingly "any discharge of function by an officer who has become functus officio is a nullity in law and without jurisdiction."
The tribunal also allowed the matter to be reheard. "Consequently, impugned orders passed in the captioned appeals by CIT(A)-1 and 2 Noida are set aside to the files of the respective jurisdictional CIT(A)-1 and 2 Noida and CIT(A) Ghaziabad to decide afresh in accordance with law by providing an opportunity of being heard to the assessee / revenue. Consequently, aforesaid appeals / cross objections are allowed for statistical purposes," the ITAT said in its order.
Srivastava, immediately after compulsory retirement, was arrested by the CBI as its raid at the sacked officer's house led to a major recovery of gold and cash.
The agency also booked Srivastava on the allegations that he as Commissioner, Income Tax (Appeals), Noida, passed 104 backdated orders in June 2019 -- the month he was given forced retirement by the government.
The agency had levelled charges under the Indian Penal Code sections related to criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery besides provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act for obtaining undue favours.
The orders were backdated to December 2018, the CBI had alleged, adding that 13 of these orders were not in his jurisdiction.
Srivastava has also been accused of sexually harassing two female officers of the Revenue Service. The 1989-batch officer in turn accused the women of prostitution, tax evasion and corruption.
He even got a petition filed through a former MP (Member of Parliament), stating that the women officers had amassed huge wealth through prostitution and corruption. Srivastava allegedly pressured assessing officers to pass orders against them and also coerced senior officials to confirm the same.
He also allegedly prolonged the conclusion of departmental inquiry against him for a decade by filing as many as 75 petitions in CAT (Central Administrative Tribunal), the Supreme Court and the High Court.