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Team Anna hits back at Govt

New Delhi: With Income Tax office slapping a notice on activist Arvind Kejriwal to pay dues, Team Anna Hazare today alleged that the government was back to its "dirty tricks department" and that officials were pressurised by "political bosses" to act against them.

Other than the IT Office’s notice to Kejriwal to pay dues of Rs 9.27 lakh, Team Anna also referred to a Delhi Police report which said a a CD purported to contain conversation between lawyer Shanti Bhushan and political leaders was genuine. Notices for breach of privilege have also be moved in Parliament against Kiran Bedi.

The Office of the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax had on August five issued a notice to Kejriwal, an IRS officer, asking him to pay up, 11 days ahead of Hazare’s fast demanding a strong Lokpal.

“This shows that the government has not learnt any lessons. The smear campaign is still on…There is a notice against Arvind. Delhi Police has closed the investigations in the CD case saying the disc was genuine. There is also a privilege notice against Bedi.

“They are back to dirty tricks. They are back to the dirty tricks department,” lawyer and Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan told a press conference along with Kejriwal and Bedi here.

Chief Commissioner of Income Tax issued notice to Kejriwal to clear the dues alleging that he violated the bond clauses underwhich he went for a study leave for two years.

Kejriwal claimed he “did not violate” any bond provision and he resigned from the job after the stipulated three years of rejoining duty after study leave.

On the privilege notice, Bedi said she will not apologise and would say, “I am sorry I will not say sorry to you. I will show a bigger mirror to them on what is happening in our Parliament and Assemblies.”

“It is not the IT Department’s decision. They are doing what the government is saying. The IT officials have no role in this notice. They are doing because of the pressure from the political bosses,” Kejriwal said.

Kejriwal said he had taken a study leave on full pay for two years from November 1, 2000 and he rejoined office on November 1, 2002 after signing a bond that he would refund the salary if he resigns or retires or fail to resume duty within three years of his study leave.

“I have not violated any provisions. What government is saying is wrong. After over one year of rejoining, I took leave without pay which was sanctioned by my superiors. I worked for RTI. I was not into any wrongdoings. I have not signed any bond that I will not take leave after rejoining.

“The government it seems is trying interpret that the leave which I took after rejoining violates bond provisions. Taking leave is a right and the government has sanctioned it,” he said.

Emphasising that he has not violated any rules, he also said government has powers to waive “violations” if it is in public interest. He claimed then CBDT Chairman has written in the report that his works were in public interest and his case should be waived.

However, other senior officials were not in favour of such waiver.

He also questioned the timing of the issuance of notice to him, just 11 days ahead of Hazare’s agitation for which he played a prominent role.

“Between 2006 and 2007, there were three or four letters from the government side. But in the last four years, there were no letters from the government side and it is interesting that something of this sort is coming now,” Kejriwal said.

He said he has informed the government that he has no money with him as he had donated all his savings, including Rs 30 lakh he got as awards.

On the computer loan he took, he said, he had asked the government to adjust it with his provident fund but it has not been done.

“Now, government officials are visiting my relatives in my village Siwani and Hisar and making all kinds of enquiries. They have not been able to find anything against me so far,” he said.

Referring to some media reports linking his uncle, who was killed in a road accident five years ago, with RSS, he asked what his relatives had to do with the anti-corruption movement.

“There are some reports saying that my paternal uncle in his childhood used to go to RSS sakhas. What is wrong in that? What has he to do with our movement,” he said.

Kejriwal said if his resignation was not accepted by next year, he will be eligible for VRS.

“If I am taking VRS, then the government will have to give me pension,” he said in a lighter vein.

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