The Department of Revenue was on Wednesday pulled up by the Election Commission (EC) for the “casual and trivial” manner in which the advisory issued by the poll panel to remain absolutely neutral, impartial and non-discriminatory during enforcement action was dealt with by the Revenue Department.
“EC expresses its deep sense of anguish about the casual and trivial manner in which the advisory to be absolutely neutral, impartial and non-discriminatory has been responded to by Department of Revenue. Instead of detailing the modalities of implementing the advisory, Department insolently chose to issue a counter advisory,” the EC said.
PTI reported that in its letter the EC noted with “extreme displeasure, the tone and tenor used for addressing a Constitutional Authority in stark violation of the established protocol”.
“Therefore, the Commission reprimands the Department of Revenue for making unwarranted remarks and expects that the directions issued by the Commission in the said advisory are followed in letter as well as in spirit,” the poll panel said.
On Tuesday, the EC had summoned the revenue secretary and chairman, Central Board of Direct Taxes to hold discussions over the raids conducted by Income Tax (I-T) department in Madhya Pradesh and some other parts of India.
Revenue Secretary A B Pandey and CBDT Chairman P C Mody were called by the poll panel to explain the raids amid claims by Congress and other oppisition parties that enforcement agencies are being used by BJP to target the opposition leaders ahead of the Lok Sabha poll.
Earlier, the EC had "strongly advised" the Finance Ministry that any action taken by enforcement agencies during election time should be "neutral" and "non-discriminatory". The EC had also advised the Ministry to keep in loop the officials of the poll panel about such actions.