New Delhi: Defending the Central government, Union Law and Justice Minister Salman Khurshid has clarified that the notice issued by the income tax department to civil society activist Arvind Kejriwal was not an act of vendetta.
"Please do not see this as an act of enmity with Arvind Kejriwal. The government respects all those who are trying to bring about a change in the country and spread awareness and enlighten the people of India. We respect them because even we are committed to the same cause. It is true that our paths are different, but we are trying to find a common ground," Khurshid told reporters.
Dismissing reports that the government had specially timed the issue of the notice to derail Hazare`s anti-graft campaign, Khurshid asserted that the step taken by the I-T department was not unjustified.
"No, no, whether they are coincidences or not is irrelevant. The only point is, is it to be done or is it not to be done. We are not doing anything, which is unjustified, or what the department is doing is unjustified. Who will answer on behalf of that department if what they are supposed to do, they are not doing. Maybe the question should be, of them, why did you take so long?" said Khurshid.
Khurshid`s comments came soon after the income tax department sent Kejriwal a notice, asking him to pay dues amounting to Rs 9.27 lakh.
Khurshid also reflected on the simmering row over the appointment of RA Mehta as the Gujarat Lokayukta by state Governor Kamla Beniwal without consulting the state government.
"We are saying since the matter is before High Court, let the High Court take a view. Whatever the Governor has done is only the signing of the warrant of appointment. Even the oath has not been given yet. I think the Governor has probably shown consideration and courtesy to the High Court. No stay order has been granted. But if the Governor is showing and Justice Mehta showing courtesy to the High Court, are waiting for the High Court to take a view on Monday, I think we should all wait for the High Court to take a view," said Khurshid.