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Rediff.com  » News » While Kejriwal meditates, his fans put I-T dept in quandary

While Kejriwal meditates, his fans put I-T dept in quandary

Last updated on: October 3, 2011 13:23 IST

While Kejriwal meditates, his fans put I-T dept in quandary

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Vrishti Beniwal in New Delhi

While Team Anna spokesperson Arvind Kejriwal is attending a meditation course at Sohna in Haryana, income tax department officials are losing their peace of mind over more worldly affairs involving their former colleague.

Kejriwal's supporters have bombarded income tax offices with cheques and demand drafts, offering to pay his tax dues.

The I-T department had recently sent a letter to the former Indian Revenue Service officer, asking him to clear dues of Rs 9.27 lakh, as he had violated certain bond conditions. While Kejriwal denied the claim, as a mark of protest several of his followers volunteered to collect the funds and pay on his behalf.

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Image: Team Anna spokesperson Arvind Kejriwal

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An official in the department said all kinds of people had been writing to them and sending money, with the amounts starting around Rs 1,000. The amount received so far is significantly less than Rs 9.27 lakh and the department has not been able to figure out what to do with the letters, cheques and demand drafts pouring in.

The dues comprise paid study leave salary of Rs 3.5 lakh for two years, interest on the amount, and an office loan taken to buy a computer several years ago.

Kejriwal could not be reached for a comment as he was in the last leg of a 10-day 'vipasana' retreat.


Image: File picture of supporters of Anna Hazare celebrating after the veteran activist ended his anti-corruption fast
Photographs: Reuters
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However, his colleagues Business Standard spoke to said they received calls from a few people who had reached the income tax office to pay his dues, but they were not aware a large number of people were sending money to the department.

"A lot of people have contacted us too, saying they want to contribute and pay the dues. We have not decided anything on that," said one of them.

They said Kejriwal had made his position clear that he did not violate any bond conditions and since then there had been no further communication from the government.

Kejriwal had gone on study leave from November 2000 to October 2002. As per rules, he was required to work for the government for a period of at least three years after returning from the leave.

While Kejriwal said he joined back in November 2002 and resigned in February 2006, the finance ministry said he went on 'extra ordinary leave' without pay from November 2003 to October 2005 and that period did not count as regular service.

The I-T department had considered Kejriwal's appeal to waive the dues and had referred it to the department of personnel and training, which turned it down, saying it violated bond conditions. The department has not yet accepted his resignation and wants him to pay the amount so that a 'no dues' certificate could be issued.


Image: Arvind Kejriwal with Anna Hazare

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