Likening the gifts received by corrupt Commercial Tax department officials from traders and businessmen to “mamool” received by policemen, the Madras High Court has directed the State government to crack down on all such officials.
Justice S.M. Subramaniam ordered that the assets disclosed by the officials in their service records must be cross-checked with assets that are now owned by them and their family members and those who had amassed wealth must be prosecuted.
The judge also directed the Commercial Taxes and Registration Department Secretary to conduct periodical raids in the offices of subordinate officials through the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption (DVAC) sleuths.
The judge further ordered departmental action against officials who either do not collect revenue due to the State on time or intentionally delay the proceedings for extraneous considerations.
They must be punished for dereliction of duty, the judge said.
“A decent salary is being paid to government officials. Their salary is undoubtedly more competitive than that of private organisations. By virtue of government appointment, the officials are holding a status in society. Therefore, they are bound to act in the interest of people at large,” the judge observed.
The judgment was passed while allowing an old case, in which there had been a huge delay in recovering sales tax dues.