BENGALURU: A letter from a senior official in the Income Tax department expressing concern at the “preparations by Anti-Corruption Bureau to raid premises of I-T officials in the state” has triggered a row.
B R Balakrishnan, Director General of Income Tax (Intelligence), Karnataka and Goa region, is said to have expressed serious concerns over “ACB plans to raid the premises of three I-T officials in the state” in his letter to DG & IGP R K Dutta three weeks ago.The letter has ignited suspicions that the Siddaramaiah government is gearing up for a confrontation with the Modi government at the Centre by pushing the ACB to turn the heat on I-T officials ahead of the 2018 Assembly election.The Chief Minister had earlier accused the Modi government of misusing I-T department and CBI against Congress leaders in the state.
In his letter, Balakrishnan has underlined that the ACB has no jurisdiction to initiate any action against I-T officials who come under the service rules of Union government and that CBI is the authorised agency to look into complaints of corruption against I-T personnel.According to sources, Balakrishnan was compelled to write the letter after details of the discussions at a meeting of ACB top brass to conduct raids on a few I-T officials was leaked.
Earlier, the Congress government had cried hoarse following I-T raids on Congress MLC Govindaraj, who accused tax officials of planting a diary, carrying details of payments made to Congress leaders, in his house. The Congress also accused the Centre of a witchhunt after raids on minister DK Shivakumar’s premises.