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President:     Col J N Pandey 








NEWSLETTER dated 2.6.2000

 Its time to take stock.

 493 grievances have been submitted to the Income Tax Department so far. Out of these, as per our records, only 40 have been resolved. However, our data is based on the feedback from the taxpayers. There could be some people who would have got their refunds but have not informed us. In any case, we do not feel that the total number of grievances resolved by the Department would exceed 100. It is more than 50 days that these grievances were submitted. Yet, more than 80% of the grievances remain unresolved. In its Citizens’ Charter, the Department promises to resolve any grievance within 30 days of its submission. The Department stubbornly refuses to give any information about the status of the grievances. Parivartan had also suggested some measures, which if implemented, will prevent recurrence of these grievances. The Department refuses to implement these measures without assigning any cogent reasons.

In the meanwhile, Parivartan met a large number of people to build pressure on the Department. Mr N Vittal, Chief Vigilance Commissioner was very encouraging. Finance Secretary, Mr Piyush Mankad has sought the comments of the Department on the same. Mr N D Tiwari, Chairman of Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament, promised that he would call for the comments of the government on this issue. Parivartan met some Members of Parliament including Mr O P Kohli and Mr Mahesh Chandra Sharma. Mr Kohli has already written to the Finance Minister to seek his personal intervention. Mr Mahesh Chandra Sharma would also be writing to the Finance Minister to this effect. A tripartite meeting was held between Mr S N P N Sinha, Secretary (CVC); Mr Raj Narain, Chief Commissioner of Income Tax; and Parivartan on 16th May. All the objections raised by Mr Raj Narain in the meeting against the measures suggested by Parivartan were successfully rebutted, so much so that, at the end of the meeting, the Secretary CVC also felt that these measures should be implemented. When asked about the status of grievances, Mr Raj Narain categorically refused to inform the same. He also refused to commit any deadline by which all these grievances will be resolved. Parivartan also sought the help of media to bring it to the notice of general public. A number of newspapers including Hindu, Indian Express, Financial Express, Hindustan (Hindi), Navbharat Times (Hindi) carried this news item. BBC World telecast a programme on this issue on 25th May, 2000.

 Net result: Despite all efforts, most of the grievances remain unresolved. The measures suggested remain unimplemented. This brings us to the basic question – Where, on earth, can a citizen of India get his grievances resolved? Every single institution has become ineffective and insensitive. None of the government functionaries are accountable to anyone. There seem to be only two options – either approach the Court or pay up the customary bribe. Everyone does not have the time and money to approach the Court. Hence, it appears that it the unstated policy of Government of India to force people to pay bribes to get their work done. Today, if a person wants to live an honest life, this option is not available. THIS HAS TO STOP. WE WILL DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO STOP THIS STATE OF AFFAIRS.

It has become abundantly clear that we will have to file Public Interest Litigation to get justice. Unfortunately, the Delhi High Court is closed due to vacation. It will reopen in the first week of July. We will file the petition as soon as the courts reopen. Meanwhile, we will keep meeting as many authorities as possible during the next month to demonstrate to the courts and to conclusively prove that there is absolutely no avenue in this country for a harried citizen to get his genuine grievance resoled. We reiterate there is strength in unity. Now that all of us have got united, we are bound to succeed. It could take some time, but the success is bound to come.

Jai Hind

Lets all unite to make India better

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