Are Editors involved in Transfers & Postings in Income Tax Department?

Editors or brokers? To what depths has journalism sunk to?

Editors or brokers? To what depths has journalism sunk to?
Editors or brokers? To what depths has journalism sunk to?

For an industry that is supposed to be the eyes and ears of the nation, the Fourth Estate is often found to be doing everything except news! The latest is the involvement of two Editors caught for engaging in transfers and postings of plum positions in the Income Tax Department. One of the Editors, Diwakar Asthana of Times of India, goes on to brag about it on an internal WhatsApp group meant for Times of India (TOI) journalists! This group is meant for the discussion of daily activities of the Delhi Bureau of TOI.

Diwakar posted this message at around 4PM on May 31, for the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) Officer Anupam Suman but by mistake, he posted it on TOI Delhi journalists’ WhatsApp Group.

The message was on for about 15 minutes before someone pointed it out to him and it got deleted. But the damage was done. The message, a copy of which is reproduced at the end of this post, talks about the role of two editors involved in transfers and postings of plum positions in the Income Tax Department! Another Barkha-Niira?!

Times of India’s Executive Editor Diwakar Asthana posted his conversation with the Finance Minister in the North Block in reference to the London posting of IRS Officer Anupam Suman of 2004 Batch. Diwakar posted this message at around 4PM on May 31, for the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) Officer Anupam Suman but by mistake, he posted it on TOI Delhi journalists’ WhatsApp Group. After 15 minutes Diwakar realized his blunder and said “posted in wrong group”. But by this time all TOI journalists had a copy of the screenshot and the debates started in journalists’ circles. To err is human but to completely mess things up, you need a Smartphone!

As per the message Diwakar tells IRS officer Anupam Suman that he and another Editor P R Ramesh met Arun Jaitley and discussed his posting in London. P R Ramesh was the Bureau Chief of Economic Times and is currently holding an Editorial position in Open Magazine and a newly floated website KhabarE. Anupam Suman is on a private funded study leave in London and wanted to be posted in Income Tax Overseas Unit (ITOU) in London. ITOU offices are attached with the Indian Missions and IRS officers are posted in the rank of First Secretary. This post was created to track Black Money operations and this London posting is a plum post.

It is time for Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to plug such unpleasant activities by venal journalists and editors.

The message exposes the clout of these two Editors – Diwakar and P R Ramesh – in the Finance Ministry. Arun Jaitley’s Private Secretary Simanchala Dash IRS was also part of the discussion with the Minister when the Editors lobbied for London posting for the junior IRS officer Anupam Suman. As per the message Diwakar claims Arun Jaitley and Simanchala Dash spoke to CBDT Chairman to clear bottlenecks in Anupam Suman’s London posting. CBDT objected to the posting as Anupam was on study leave in London and can’t be posted in the sensitive post to track Black Money operations in London, which is the World Capital of Black Money.

What emerges is an interesting suggestion by Simanchala Dash – he advises the Finance Minister to cancel all foreign postings to accommodate Anupam Suman in London! Diwakar also says the Private Secretary advised Finance Minister that it won’t look nice only to change London post and it is better to change all to get their man posted in London.

Full text of Diwakar Asthana on WhatsApp:

Babu met FM along with Ramesh regarding ITOU. He called Dash and in the presence of FM, the latter agreed that CBDT has wrongly held that you are in deputation when you are actually on study leave. It was also clarified in the presence of FM, that your fellowship has not been funded by the government. Dash told FM that Arun ji had spoken directly with CBDT chief and, therefore, he was not in the loop. He also told FM that the matter is no longer with finance ministry as the CBDT has referred it to the foreign service board under MEA. Upon this, I said that FM, being the competent authority, can overturn the decision of CBDT. Dash said that we can scrap the entire ITOU panel as recalling the name for just London station may not look good. Upon this FM said ok and told us ‘chalo’. What do you think of it.

(Times of India journalists say that Diwakar addresses everyone as Babu).

This is clear proof that two Editors were involved in plum postings in Income Tax. This is a gross abuse of their clout. The silver lining in this story is that many journalists from Times of India gave this screenshot to PGurus, requesting that their identity be kept anonymous. In the interest of the public, we are producing the full screenshot at the end of this post.

The million dollar question is why such malpractices are allowed to happen in the Finance Ministry. It is high time Finance Minister Arun Jaitley plugged such unpleasant activities by venal journalists and editors. Journalists are allowed access to the Ministers for news, not this.

A screenshot of this WhatsApp message is published below:
2 Editors recommending an individual for a plum posting

Note:
1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.

Team PGurus

We are a team of focused individuals with expertise in at least one of the following fields viz. Journalism, Technology, Economics, Politics, Sports & Business. We are factual, accurate and unbiased.

19 COMMENTS

  1. such things r rampant in PSUs also where in Board Member from Odisha favouring people from Odisha only in Promotion and Transfer. more or less same case is there where Minister is also froa Odisha… I believe one can understand who I am refering to….
    Highly unethical rather illegal but yet happening and people from other states r suffering….

  2. “There is nothing wrong in tying someone in front of a jeep to stop stone pelters.

    One innocent sardar was tied to PM’s chair for 10 years to stop attacks from opposition”

    Good comment from a Neeraj

  3. subramanian swamy will be the happiest He was after Arun Jaitley’s blood for long time He gets one arrow to shoot at Arun

  4. Very good. All you guys voted for BJP and now cribbing. Where is your initial enthusiasm? This is just the tip of the iceberg.

  5. Firstly it is necessary to accept this as a malpractice . If this happens to a regular practice then there is no question of plugging it.

    • “It is high time Finance Minister Arun Jaitley plugged such unpleasant activities”
      In what logic one suggests the above said in light of multiple instances of “FM met”, “FM said”, “FM called”, and “in the presence of FM”. It is clear that FM is a party in this incidence. Another DDCA like corruption.

  6. How PGurus, a Modi mouthpiece, has not pointed fingers at the FM who along with several higher ups have been involved in blatantly abusing their positions all this while. Learn to look at things rationally – the FM is as much as fault as the journalists.

    • We publish facts – What is in that post is what a certain Editor messaged. You can draw your own conclusions – disagree we are anyone’s mouthpiece.

      • Point made by Dia is correct..It is the crooked minister who is at fault.Why are you jumping on crooked journos who anyway are crooked?

  7. pGurus needs to be wary of whistle blowers, lest they are sold a turkey..Whet whatever they get multiple times before publishing them.They have acquired too many enemies thro’ their expose(s)?,,may not even have friends in joker party.

  8. If this report is correct, the lutyen wheeler dealer needs to be kicked out pronto.No negotiation.Period.Rest is just waste of time but then what if the wheeler dealer has cajones in his hands?

  9. Bring it to the notice of PM Modi or his PMO to see what action/follow up PM/PMO takes in this matter. Or Atleast the TOI journos/pgurus must bring it to the notice of appointments committee of babus/officials for central govt staff.

  10. It’s High Time, the FM is unplugged from the Ministry that he dearly corrupts by his legal acumen and poor economic management.

  11. How crass these media have become and despite knowing all this, government is ignoring the issue and looking other way and playing into hands of such cronies and pimps media

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