SECTION 119 OF THE INCOME – TAX ACT, 1961 – CENTRAL BOARD OF DIRECT TAXES – INSTRUCTIONS TO SUBORDINATE AUTHORITIES – INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING STRICT COMPLIANCE OF RULE 3(2)(ii) TO (iv) OF CCS (CONDUCT) RULES IN RESPECT OF DIRECTIONS ISSUED BY SUPERIOR OFFICERS TO THEIR SUBORDINATE OFFICERS
INSTRUCTION NO. 10/2011 [F.NO. C-30014/100/2011-V&I], DATED 7-12-2011
It has been observed during the processing of vigilance complaints wherein Assessing Officers have claimed that the particular action/decisions were taken after discussion with and as per the directions of their controlling Range Head, though, no such written directions were found on the record. In a few cases, an office note was found to be recorded stating, that issues involved in the order were discussed with the Range Head but the office note was not found to have been ratified by the controlling Range Head. In all such cases, the concerned Range Heads, during the course of inquiry, denied having issued any such informal instructions/directions in the matter. In the circumstances, wherever any gross mistake creeps in, it becomes difficult to ascertain whether it is due to oral instructions of the supervisory officer or the Assessing Officer has acted in a mala fide manner on his own.
2. In this background, attention is invited to the provisions of Rule 3(2)(ii) to (iv) of CCS (Conduct) Rules which read as under:-
“3(2)(ii) No Government servant shall, in the performance of his official duties, or in the exercises of power conferred on him, act otherwise than in his best judgment except when he is acting under the direction of his official superior;
3(2)(iii) The direction of the official superior shall ordinarily be in writing. Oral direction to subordinates shall be avoided as far as possible. Where the issue of oral direction becomes unavoidable, the official superior shall confirm it in writing immediately thereafter;
3(2)(iv) A Government servant who has received oral direction from, his official superior shall seek confirmations of the same in writing us early as possible, whereupon it shall be the duty of the official superior to confirm the direction in writing”
3. It is clear from this that oral/informal directions without being confirmed by the superior authority in writing carry no statutory force. Therefore, neither an Assessing Officer nor Range Head can take shelter behind such oral/informal directions having been received/issued to avoid punitive action. It is therefore directed that provisions of Rule 3(2)(ii) to (iv) of CCS (Ccnduct) Rules should be strictly complied with by the superior as well as subordinate officers.