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FBR dismisses officer for misconduct


ISLAMABAD:

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has finally dismissed an officer from civil service on charges of “inefficiency and misconduct”, raising the bet for the conclusion of similar over 100 cases pending for years.

“The competent authority after having considered all the aspects and material relating to the case, has decided to impose a major penalty of dismissal from service upon Dr Sajid Hussain Arain,” said the dismissal orders of the FBR.

Arain was a grade-19 officer of the Inland Revenue Service and has been dismissed more than once in the past due to integrity issues. He was last posted as the chief FBR headquarters in Karachi.

It was the second time Arain has been dismissed from service. Earlier, he had secured relief from the tribunal.

FBR’s Member Administration Mohammad Bakhtiar was the authorised officer in the case. On August 29, 2018, the then director general broadening of tax base, Tanveer Malik, had described Arain as “a hardened criminal and a disgrace to the civil service of Pakistan”, according to proceedings of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance.

Malik also said that “Arain issued bogus tax refunds and was part of a gang”.

The standing committee had taken up the issue of corruption cases pending for disposal for years in the FBR. About 180 FBR officers were facing inquiries as of November 2015 under the Efficiency and Disciplinary Rules 1973.

Their cases remain pending due to the alleged support they received from within the FBR. In most cases, the charges of corruption and inefficiency have been proved against these officials.

Some of them have obtained stay orders. Prime Minister Imran Khan had vowed to weed out corruption in the FBR, but the revenue board could not make progress on the cases. About 124 inquiries were currently underway against the officers serving in grade-17 to 21, said Syed Nadeem Rizvi, the FBR spokesman.

Another FBR officer said that two more cases of officers serving in grade-18 and 19 were ready to be decided in the next couple of weeks.

The FBR’s integrity drive till recently was limited to only the low-grade staff.

Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh had expressed displeasure last week over the lack of ownership of the integrity drive by the top tax management.

Some senior officers working in the FBR headquarters are still trying to protect Karachibased officers who have serious financial integrity issues, according to the sources.

FBR documents showed that the authorities initiated disciplinary proceedings against Arain on charges of “inefficiency” and “misconduct” in compliance with directives of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

The FBR furnished an inquiry report on December 14, 2020 with the findings that the accused was found guilty of inefficiency and misconduct.

On the basis of the inquiry report, a show cause notice was issued on January 12, 2021 to the officer with the directives to show cause within 14 days of the receipt as to why one or more penalties including the major penalty of “dismissal from service” under the Government Servants (Efficiency & Discipline) Rules, 1973 should not be imposed upon him.

The officer furnished his reply to the show cause notice on January 26, 2021 and denied the charges levelled against him and sought the opportunity of personal hearing, which was granted by the authorised officer on February 11, 2021.

After examining record of the case, written reply of the officer including the reply to the show cause notice and findings of the inquiry officer, the authorised officer recommended imposition of major penalty of “dismissal from service”, according to the dismissal orders.

Arain will have the right to appeal to the Appellate Authority under the Civil Servants (Appeals) Rules 1977 within a period of 30 days.

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