New Delhi: The Income Tax Department has suspended a deputy commissioner for harassing a taxpayer and allegedly demanding “illegal gratification”, the finance ministry said today.

“The Department has zero tolerance to such malpractices and corruption. Pending investigation, the officer has since been placed under suspension… The matter is under investigation,” the ministry said in a statement.

A complaint was received making serious allegations against D K Meena, Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax, posted at Surendranagar in Gujarat Region for harassing a taxpayer in a scrutiny case with mala fide intention, it said.

“The officer was alleged to have demanded illegal gratification through the taxpayer’s Chartered Accountant for favourably completing the assessment,” it said, adding that the audio recordings of conversations were also received mentioning the bribe amount being demanded by the officers of the Department for settling the case.

In order to verify the veracity of the allegations, it said, the case records were requisitioned immediately by the Vigilance Directorate of CBDT.

On examination of the case records, serious lapses and irregularities were found which lend credence to the allegations made against the officer, it said.

PTI