Taxing turf war

Taxing turf war

The Directorate of Income Tax (Criminal Investigations) or DCI, which was set up to collect information about persons and transactions suspected to be involved in criminal activities having cross-border, inter-state or international ramifications, is said to have stopped conducting searches and decided to focus on intelligence work only. This is being seen as a direct fall out of turf war between DCI and the investigation wing of the Income Tax Department, which is said to have had problems with overlapping of work and jurisdiction. Two key DCI directors, who had handled sensitive income tax cases, have been recently moved out and posted to low-key positions.

Aborted foreign trips

After the monsoon session of Parliament, the foreign trips of several ministers were denied clearance from the Ministry of External Affairs. These include high-profile ministers like Salman Khurshid, who ironically is himself the External Affairs Minister now, and Kapil Sibal, and others like Subodh Kant Sahai and Agatha Sangma. Pawan Kumar Bansal, then the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, was proposed to travel to Hong Kong on September 27 but his plan was shot down. Khurshid, then the Law Minister, wanted to travel to Islamabad between September 11 and 13 while Kapil Sibal was supposed to be in London on September 13 and 14. Both of them were denied clearance by MEA. The planned visits of Subodh Kant Sahai to the United States between September 22 and 25, and that of Agatha Sangma to Berlin between September 2 and 8 were also scuttled.

In the judge's firing line

Some years ago, when he was only an RTI activist, Shailesh Gandhi had once faced the ire of the Mumbai High Court in some case when the Chief Justice, finding him absent, had directed that he must "not leave the court premises" during the hearings. Gandhi who went on to become the Central Information Commissioner—he retired a few months ago—faced the anger of judges once again on Thursday. In a contempt case against him—related to a petition filed by a joint secretary of the Central Information Commission Akashdeep Chakravorty—Delhi High Court judge Justice Rajeev Shakdhar once again directed Gandhi that he be personally present for the hearings.

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