IT officers body demands apology from Nitin Gadkari

Nitin Gadkari

Fuming over Nitin Gadkari's veiled warning to Income Tax officials probing allegations of dubious funding of his Purti group, their apex body has demanded an unconditional apology from the former BJP president, saying his threat was aimed at hindering fair probe.

"The IRS Association (All India Body) has noted with deep concern and shock, the news-item appearing in the national dailies regarding the alleged threat issued by Shri Nitin Gadkari to the officers of the Income Tax Department investigating the case of suspected tax-evasion by certain companies," the organisation said in its resolution issued today.

On January 24 in Nagpur, a day after he demitted office of the BJP President, Gadkari had held out a threat to Income Tax authorities, probing financial transactions of the Purti group, saying nobody would save them when BJP came to power at the Centre.

"As BJP president I had to maintain dignity and work within boundaries.... Now I am a free man.

Congress' boat is about to sink and when our party comes to power, there would be no Chidambaram or Sonia to save them (IT officials)," Gadkari had said addressing party workers.

"The statement issued by Shri Gadkari is derogatory for the Service and his threat is aimed to hinder free and fair investigations into a matter of alleged tax evasion," said the resolution passed in a meeting held in the national capital.

The Association, which has 4,000 members, condemned the use of "such intemperate language by a politician of national stature with intention to thwart the rule of law and demands an unconditional apology from him."

The IRS (IT) is deployed in the country under the umbrella of the tax department and on deputation to other enforcement and investigative agencies for tax collection, checking evasion and a variety of other duties in this domain.

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