New Delhi: With Income Tax office slapping a notice on activist Arvind Kejriwal to pay dues, Team Anna Hazare on Friday alleged that the Government was back to its "dirty tricks department" and that officials were pressurized by "political bosses" to act against them.

Other than the IT Office's notice to Kejriwal to pay dues of Rs 9.27 lakh, Team Anna also referred to a Delhi Police report which said a CD purported to contain conversation between lawyer Shanti Bhushan and political leaders was genuine. Notices for breach of privilege have also been moved in Parliament against Kiran Bedi.

The Office of the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax had on August 5 issued a notice to Kejriwal, an IRS officer, asking him to pay up, 11 days ahead of Hazare's fast demanding a strong Lokpal.

"This shows that the Government has not learnt any lessons. The smear campaign is still on...There is a notice against Arvind. Delhi Police has closed the investigations in the CD case saying the disc was genuine. There is also a privilege notice against Bedi.

"They are back to dirty tricks. They are back to the dirty tricks department," lawyer and Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan told a press conference along with Kejriwal and Bedi here.

Chief Commissioner of Income Tax issued notice to Kejriwal to clear the dues alleging that he violated the bond clauses under which he went for a study leave for two years.

Did not violate any rule: Kejriwal

Kejriwal claimed he "did not violate" any bond provision and he resigned from the job after the stipulated three years of rejoining duty after study leave.

On the privilege notice, Bedi said she will not apologize and would say, "I am sorry I will not say sorry to you. I will show a bigger mirror to them on what is happening in our Parliament and Assemblies."

"It is not the IT Department's decision. They are doing what the government is saying. The IT officials have no role in this notice. They are doing because of the pressure from the political bosses," Kejriwal said.

Kejriwal said he had taken a study leave on full pay for two years from November 1, 2000 and he rejoined office on November 1, 2002 after signing a bond that he would refund the salary if he resigns or retires or fail to resume duty within three years of his study leave.

"I have not violated any provisions. What government is saying is wrong. After over one year of rejoining, I took leave without pay which was sanctioned by my superiors. I worked for RTI. I was not into any wrongdoings. I have not signed any bond that I will not take leave after rejoining.

"The Government it seems is trying interpreting that the leave which I took after rejoining violates bond provisions. Taking leave is a right and the government has sanctioned it," he said.

Emphasising that he has not violated any rules, he also said government has powers to waive "violations" if it is in public interest. He claimed then CBDT Chairman has written in the report that his works were in public interest and his case should be waived.

However, other senior officials were not in favour of such waiver. He also questioned the timing of the issuance of notice to him, just 11 days ahead of Hazare's agitation for which he played a prominent role.

BJP raises questions over notices to Kejriwal, Ramdev

Meanwhile, the BJP on Friday raised questions over the notices sent to civil society activist Arvind Kejriwal and Yoga guru Ramdev, saying the Government should come clear on whether they were intentional or mere coincidental.
   
"It is very amusing and rather very incidental that all these people who have raised their voice against the Government end up landing up with notices," said senior BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy.
   
Talking to reporters outside Parliament, Rudy said, "One does not know whether it is with an intent or a design or is just a matter of a course. It does raise a sense of suspicion in the minds of the people - whether it is the intent of the Government or is simply a procedure which is happening and now it is taking its own course."

He said the "best people to explain the entire situation is the Government.

"Another senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad charged the UPA of playing vendetta politics. Without getting into details of the notice sent by the Government to Kejriwal, he said the people of the country will not accept this.

(Agencies)