Friday, August 27, 2010

Tax hound Sudhir Chandra is India’s 4th Most Powerful Bureaucrat

WHEN 400 taxmen carried out a massive search operation across properties of former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda last year to trace his Rs 2000 cr allegedly unaccounted assets, a tax hound sitting at his North Block office was instructing everybody how to be extremely polite in handling the operation, but at the same time be as courageous as “Rani of Jhansi”. That was just the beginning of a string of I-T raids at the premises of impregnable IAS officers and leading business houses which were hitherto considered as safe domains.
Sudhir Chandra, Member, Investigation of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is the 4th Most Powerful Bureaucrat in the BoI (Babus of India) power list. A 1973 batch Indian Revenue Service official, Chandra has proved that no one including politicians and top bureaucrats should feel secured and flaunt their unaccounted money because of their clout in the corridors of power. He is truly the corridors’ game-changer.
The man who is driven by his fearlessness has kept photographs of his religious guru all around the wall of his official room, possibly to draw strength against any political interventions! And no wonder, thanks to his growing clout, he is adding more enemies every single day.
What this tax hound does when he ends his busy day in North Block? That’s his own world as he starts playing Lara’s Theme to Strangers in the Night... in his piano. (In Picture: Chandra (left) with revenue secretary Sunil Mitra and finance minister Pranab Mukherjee)


  1. Chandra is not just a tax hound as you are saying, but has done a lot for the IRS community. Why IRS remains under an IAS (revenue secretary) whereas a railway officer moves up to the top?

  2. excellent write up, thanks for highlighting the efforts of good officers so that society is benefitted. may they become guiding light to all others. congratulations to mr. Sudhir Chandra.

  3. Fantastic,Mindblowing efforts to get better results by Mr Sudhir Chandra. Please try again and again to make our society bright and financial polution free . We are with you.

  4. The Income tax Deptt. has a miserable track record of ignoring widespread corruption in the Bureaucracy, Judiciary as well as many such 'Holy Cows' of the system. CBI is taken care of by excluding the officers above JS rank which is any way achieved by the 'big brother' within 16 yrs, i.e. by the time, to be in the position to mint money in Delhi. Then there was only income tax law left to be taken care of. It is achieved by pressurising and bullying the Department. In first place why can't we make Chairman CBDT directly under the FM. Chairman CBDT is himself ex-officio Secretary rank officer(It is different story that no one from the IRS is considered as eligible for Secretary rank) is put under RS and through him under Fin. Sec. then comes MOS(R)and finally it is FM.
    The result is IRS is highly demoralized cadre amongst civil services (Refer recent survey of Civil services brought out by the cabinet secretariat). Career -growth avenues are stifled to the worst! Every year I see that young boys and girls selected through UPSC Select IRS after IAS, IPS and IFS. In good number of cases due to medical reasons as well as out of choice, candidates otherwise eligible for IPS choose IRS. But in terms of career progression they end up being treated in step-motherly manner. It is amusing to see that such a big service does not get a single slot in the Secretary cadre. Representation is negligible beyond DS.
    I fail to understand what quality do I Foreign Service, I.Postal Service, IA&AS or Railways services officers possess which IRS do not have?
    One major charge perceived to be against the IRS and the Income tax Deptt. is that it is Corrupt! First of all, lets get facts straight. Going by the no. of officers convicted by the courts, or pending vigilance inquiries or raided by CBI etc., percentage of officers involved to total cadre strength is higher in IAS and IPS than the IRS.
    There is no denial to the fact that majority of the people deviate the path of values; but so is the case with rest of the services. Rather it can be said that in other civil services as well as organizations corruption is permeated to the equal depth, if not more. But at the same time there are right people in IRS as they are there in other civil services including IAS.
    Today there is vide-spread corruption among almost all services. Today we are talking about Commonwealth-games,till yesterday it was IPL.Tomorrow some other issue will come to the fore.Issue is that why Income tax guys have no confidence to act unless they told to do so? It will be good for the nation if the ‘Income tax’ is unshackled from the maze of superior layers;with complete mandate to hunt any one having black Income and of course there should be zero tolerance for any wrong doing by Income tax guy too.If found on wrong footing he should be hanged first!
    Is there any one to think in wider national interest!

  5. World over the Revenue Service is considered the most powerful service. Be it American Internal Revenue Service or British Inland Revenue Service. In India it is not so sofar. But it is a fact that nobody can stop the IRS from becoming the best service in coming future. The IAS lobby is wary of this hard fact and so is trying in any way it could to deny the IRS it's due. This has started a new war between civil services in India. Earlier it was between IAS and IPS. Now it is fast turning into a fight between IAS and IRS. But the IAS should realise that it is a losing fight. The IRS is the service of the future. If the IRS lobby gets going and starts taking things into their hands, the revenue collections will be affected and the government will come to its feet.

  6. i think in the battle of equality between IAS n IRS,we need unity between IRS(IT)& IRS(C&CE).inspite of all good things of our servise newly joinded irs are comepelled to leave service n join all india servises becoz of these fact.why should CBEC & CBDT chairman work under an IAS,which is 2 or 3 year junior.we need to raise our voice strongly.for best work best motivation should be

  7. Well, I alongwith all of us here in Mumbai have personally witnessed his extremely thought-provoking, and enchanting motivational one liners. The man deserves all these accolades and much more. He is indeed a mountain of energy. One needs to meet him to know him. Now that is Sudhir Chandra Sir.