Move to make Arun Jaitley’s former PS Seemanchal Dash as Special Director in ED again?

Why is a new post of Special Director being created in the ED?

Why is a new post of Special Director being created in the ED?
Why is a new post of Special Director being created in the ED?

In the month of August, PGurus carried an exclusive story on the unethical move being carried out by the Finance Ministry to accommodate Seemanchal Dash, the present OSD to Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) working in the office of the Finance Minister as Special Director in the Enforcement Directorate.

It is also noteworthy that Subramanian Swamy has been at the forefront alleging that the Income Tax Department has been going slow on the investigations pertaining to the former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram under the Income Tax, Black Money and the Benami laws.

PGurus had previously reported that the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by the Prime Minister rejected the proposal for continuation of Dash as the Private Secretary to the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Also, PGurus had carried a story about his alleged interference in the posting of officers in the Income Tax Overseas Unit (ITOU).

Sources in the Income Tax Department have confirmed to PGurus that the meeting that was called on 8th of August 2017 was canceled by the Central Vigilance Commission(CVC) without stating any reason. Seemanchal Dash, according to a senior Income Tax officer, who spoke on condition of strict anonymity, belongs to the 1988 batch of the IRS. In the last few months, there has been a nasty battle in the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) over the promotion of the officers from 1988 (few of them) & 1989 to the grade of the Principal Commissioners of Income Tax.

According to this officer, “Dash was largely responsible for delinking this (1988-89) promotion proposal from the promotion proposal of the 1987 and 1988 (part) which was sent to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in March 2017. The reason is simple. If Mr. Dash is to be promoted to the grade of the Principal Commissioner of Income Tax (PCIT), he automatically stands disqualified for the post of the Special Director in the Enforcement Directorate (ED) (which is of the rank of the Commissioner equivalent). It is a different story as to how this promotion proposal actually happened in spite of very strict opposition”.

It is important to note that even after 2 weeks of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) clearing the proposal for the promotion of the 1988-89 batches of the Income Tax to the grade of the PCIT, the promotion orders have not been issued by the Finance Ministry. The approval of the Finance Minister is required to issue the promotion orders, which is pending at present.

In the meantime, there appears to have been a disagreement between the ED and the Finance Ministry on the way in which this entire exercise of appointment of the Special Director – ED has been carried out. So in order to make sure that the appointment process is smooth, the Enforcement Directorate has been asked to upgrade a post of a Joint Director in ED Delhi to that of a Special Director.

The creation of the post of Special Director, ED (by way of upgradation) will require the approval of the cabinet as the said post is equivalent to that of Joint Secretary to the Government of India. The senior Income Tax officer has confirmed that the Department of Expenditure has approved this proposal which is expected to be tabled in the Cabinet this week.

This undue haste in the creation of this post is being shown, as per the IT officer who spoke to us, to ensure that the post is created and the CVC meeting is called immediately to ensure the selection of  Seemanchal Dash as the Special Director ED, before the Finance Minister signs the file for the promotion of 1988-89 batch to the grade of PCIT.

It is a direct conflict of interest that Dash has been handling the promotion and posting file of the 1988-89 batch in the Finance Minister’s office as the said file also deals with the posting orders of Mr Dash.

It is also noteworthy that Subramanian Swamy has been at the forefront alleging that the Income Tax Department has been going slow on the investigations pertaining to the former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram under the Income Tax, Black Money and the Benami laws.

This raises some serious questions –

  1. Will the Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister approve the proposal to create a post of Special Director in ED, to accommodate Seemanchal Dash?
  2. How long will it take for the Finance Ministry to issue the promotion orders (which is a matter of formality) for the 1988-89 batch for the PCIT post, even after the ACC approved it more than 15 days back? Is it deliberately being delayed?
  3. Is an urgent meeting of the CVC headed committee being called later this week to clear the name of Dash for the post of Special Director?
  4. Has the Prime Minister’s Office being kept in the loop on all these developments?

What “special” qualities does Seemanchal Dash have that make him uniquely qualified to be a Special Director – ED? Will the Finance Minister care to explain?

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

Team PGurus

3 COMMENTS

  1. Please answer with unbias reply, why are you NITPICKING? So every minister, PM should ask P Gurus first? What you are doing is WRONG, why don’t you have guts to ask Sonia Gandhi that why did they made Manmohan Singh as a PM and Rahul Gandhi as a congress president?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here