Anna Hazares team on Friday accused the government of launching a witch hunt against it, as well against their relatives. The team cited a dues recovery note from the income tax (I-T) department against Arvind Kejriwal as the latest instance of such action. The I-T department, however, denied the allegations and said they had, according to the procedure, only sent a reminder to Kejriwal to clear his dues of Rs 9.27 lakh.
At a press conference, Kejriwal said the case's sudden revival was prompted by political bosses
The I-T departmentclarified the Central Board of Direct Taxes, under the finance ministry, had considered Kejriwal's appeal to waive the dues and had referred it to the department of personnel and training (DoPT), which comes under the Prime Minister. The DoPT turned down the request, as he (Kejriwal) had violated bond conditions, said an official. Kejriwal had taken a study leave from November 2000 to October 2002. According to rules, he had to work for the government for a period of at least three years after returning from leave.
Kejriwal questioned the timing of the department's letter, which was sent after a silence of three years on August 5-a few days before Anna Hazare started his fast.
Finance ministry officials said several reminders were sent to him in the last few years and that DoPT's decision to reject his waiver appeal was taken in 2008.
The dues of Rs 9.27 lakh comprises paid study leave salary of Rs 3.5 lakh for two years, interest on the amount, and a pending office loan to buy a computer several years ago. The I-T department has not yet accepted his resignation and wants him to pay the amount so that a 'no-dues' certificate could be issued.
I am not taking retirement or seeking pension but this harassment must stop, Kejriwal said. He added in the past few days, intelligence sleuths and various officials had visited his relatives in his native village in Haryana and inquired about property owned by him. He said his relatives were being harassed with queries.
Prashant Bhushan also described the closure of the case of the Mulayam Singh Shanti Bhushan CD by the Delhi police as inspired by political vendetta. When evidence was on the conversation by Singh taken from another CD was presented, the police chose not to refer to it or the opinion of CFSL Chandigarh on the CD's authenticity.
Kejriwal said all accounts of India Against Corruption (IAC) and the Public Service Foundation, which works as the IAC's secretariat would be on the websites in a few days. Audited accounts up to August would be provided this year, he said.
He expressed surprise at Arundhati Roy's comments on the movement being funded by the World Bank, saying Roy had worked with him when they opposed the World Bank funded privatisation of water in Delhi.
Kiran Bedi also linked the demands for contempt of Parliament against her as a part of the same 'witch hunt'' against them. She said she would not retract anything she said or did, as she believed in what she said.