Kejriwal forks out Rs.9.7 lakh in dues, writes to PM (Lead)

November 3rd, 2011 - 10:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, Nov 3 (IANS) Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal, an Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer, Thursday returned Rs.9.27 lakh dues to the Income Tax department “under protest”.

Accusing the government of targeting Team Anna, Kejriwal in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh complained that he had been wrongly slapped with the recovery notice.

He wrote he had been penalised even though he had not violated service rules in availing study leave while he was working as an IRS officer. He requested for early acceptance of his resignation.

“I do not know my fault so there is no question of accepting it. I am depositing the amount under protest. I will be grateful if you advise the finance ministry to accept my resignation at the earliest,” Kejriwal said.

He said he had a right to move court to recover the money once his resignation was accepted. The money was contributed by his former IIT-Kharagpur colleagues, he said.

“I am paying up the money by taking unsecured interest free loans from my old friends,” said Kejriwal.

“The whole government machinery is after members of Team Anna. I request you with folded hands that your government should not trouble people who had given me loan,” Kejriwal said.

Kejriwal said he tried to explain to the authorities in the past five years that he had not violated rules but they were “not ready to understand”.

The Income Tax authorities in August issued a notice to Kejriwal asking him to pay his dues, claiming that he had violated the bond under which he went on study leave for two years between 2000-02.

Kejriwal, who was given a fresh notice last month, said he had been given less time to respond.

The activist, who was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for emergent leadership in 2006, said: “I have been told that my file was also considered in the Prime Minister’s Office and I have been found guilty.”

Thanking people for their support in paying back the government dues, Kejriwal said: “I have been receiving several phone calls, letters and messages from scores of people offering to pay up my liabilities to Income Tax department. I am simply overwhelmed. I am grateful to everyone.”

“However, I have decided to most humbly decline these offers because if I did so, I would be accused of misusing the movement for my personal gains.”

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