A recent order by the Central Administrative Tribunal has questioned the selection process adopted by the revenue department for members in the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).
The September 2 order has backed the plea of petitioner,Chief Commissioner Laxman Das,and ruled that,among others,he should have been appointed Member by the Review Selection Committee for the year 1010-2011. When contacted,CBDT officials told The Indian Express it was for the revenue department to decide whether to appeal against the order or to reconvene the selection panel.
In the order,CAT has declared as illegal the appointment of A K Basu as a member since he had less than one year of residual service and was hence not eligible.
Demanding that the appointment be set aside,the order said,We further direct that the Review Selection Committee shall be convened to consider the application of Shri Laxman Das for the post of Member-CBDT within a period of three months…the official respondents have faulted in including the names of such persons in the zone of consideration who are not eligible.
The order reveals that of the 22 Indian Revenue Service officers considered and cleared by the Selection Committee,the CVC denied vigilance clearance for one officer since there were major penalty proceedings pending against him. In respect of four other officers,it said the CVC had observed that certain matters were pending/under process and they advised that the factual position in respect of the impugned matters concerning them should be placed before the Competent Authority while it would decide the suitability of these officers for selection.
The order then describes how the Selection Committee went through the details of the pending matters and noted that the CVC had neither denied them vigilance clearance nor was any disciplinary action pending or contemplated against them. The committee,therefore,decided not to exclude them from their place in the panel for appointment as members.