ISLAMABAD:- The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has imposed a major penalty of dismissal from services on an official of the Directorate of Intelligence & Investigation (IR), Faisalabad, who was providing tax consultancy services to an accused person nominated in FIR lodged under Anti-Money Laundering Act,2010.
Muhammad Shahzad Bashir, Inspector-IR (BS-16) was accused to make telephonic contact/conversations with a representative of an accused nominated in FIR No. 02/2020 dated 28.12.2020 lodged under Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010,. This concersations contained references to some ‘dealing(s)’ between him and the accused nominated in FIR No. 02/2020 dated 28.12.2020. He was also allegely involved to provide counseling/ advice to the representative of the accused on the issue of FIR No. 02/2020 during the conversation and thereby he acted against the interest of the Government to gain unlawful considerations. In the charge sheet, he was accused to exceeded his authority, acted in violation of office discipline and violated policy of noninteraction with the taxpayers.
Mr. Naeem Babar, Commissioner-IR, Regional Tax Office, Faisalabad was appointed as Inquiry Officer vide Order of Inquiry dated 18.11.2021 who conducted inquiry under Civil Servants (Efficiency & Discipline) Rules, 2020 and submitted Inquiry Report to the Board vide letter No. 2166 dated 11.01.2022 with the findings that Charge No.(2) & (3) above stands proved against the accused Inspector while Charge No. (1) is partially proved. The Inquiry Report also mentions non-reconciliation of assets of the accused, in the context of establishing corruption charges against him.
On the basis of Inquiry Report, Show Cause Notice bearing No. 18(167)MIR-IV/2018 dated 26.01.2022 was served upon Mr. Muhammad Shahzad Bashir, Inspector (BS-16), Directorate of Intelligence & Investigation (IR), Faisalabad. He submitted reply to the Show Cause Notice on 18.02.2022, which was received in the Board on 24.02.2022, wherein he denied all the charges and requested that he may be exonerated in view of the explanation submitted by him. He also requested for personal hearing to enable him to explain his case in person as well.
The Member (Admn/HR) / Authority provided an opportunity of personal hearing to the accused Inspector on 09.05.2022. He attended the hearing on due date and his attendance was duly marked. Mr.
Imran Zafar, Deputy Director, Directorate of I&I-IR, Faisalabad / Departmental Representative in the instant case also attended the hearing on the said date.
During the personal hearing, accused Inspector reiterated his earlier stance and tried to justify his
conversations with the accountant of accused nominated in FIR No. 02/2020 dated 28.12.2020. He also stated that the Inquiry Officer had given finding regarding his assets as well, which was not part of the charge sheet.
The Member (Admn/ HR) / Authority having carefully considered the record of the case, the Inquiry Report, the reply to the Show Cause Notice and the submissions made by the accused Inspector during
the personal hearing, as well as after listening to the audio clip evidence, observed that although the accused Inspector was not the Inquiry Officer in the case, yet he was repeatedly interacting with the Accountant of the accused nominated in FIR No. 02/2020.
Contrary to his claims, his telephonic conversations are quite obviously not simply seeking the relevant records or other legitimate purpose, but in these conversations the accused Inspector is clearly advising the accountant of a person nominated in an FIR lodged by his department to avoid submission of records or attend the office in response to any call/notice till the matters are settled. He is thus advising them for non-compliance as he expected certain transfers after which the matter would be settled, which constitutes clear misconduct on his part.
Accordingly, the Member (Admn/ HR) / Authority observed that charges of “misconduct” and “corruption” under Rule 3(b) and (c) of Civil Servants (E&D) Rules, 2020 stand established against the accused. The Authority, therefore, imposed major penalty of “Dismissal from Service” upon Mr. Muhammad Shahzad Bashir, Inspector-IR (BS-16), Intelligence & Investigation (IR), Faisalabad under Rule 4(3)(e) of the Civil Servants (E&D) Rules, 2020.
The FBR punished the officer through the issuance of a notification on Wednesday. FBR Chairman Asim Ahmad had issued a directive to the Inland Revenue officers in Board and field formations to completely abstain from private consultancy/tax practices or face strict disciplinary action.
The tax authorities had also directed the Inland Revenue Operations Wing to immediately place a strong monitoring mechanism to identify IR officers involved in this illegal practice.
The dismissed official will have a right to file an appeal against the order to the Appellate Authority under Civil Servants (Appeals) Rules, 1977 within 30 days from the date of communication of this Notification, FBR added.