The axe fell on Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) officials in the rank of Principal Commissioner, Commissioner and others under Clause (j) of Rule 56 of the Fundamental Rules.
A Finance Ministry statement, however, said that the President of India has retired the officers in "public interest" with immediate effect on completing 50 years of age.
"All these 15 officers will be paid a sum equivalent to the pay and allowances for a period of three months calculated at the same rate at which they are supposed to be withdrawing immediately before their retirement," the statement said.
This is yet another major clean-up drive by the Modi government after coming to power for a second consecutive term last month.
The officers retired, include Anup Srivastava, Principal Commissioner, Pr ADG (Audit) Delhi, Atul Dikshit, a commissioner who was under suspension and G. Shree Harsha, Commissioner, ADG DGPM Chennai.
Srivastava was booked by the CBI in 2012 for demanding and accepting bribe from an importer to cover up a case of duty evasion. He was also fined Rs 20 lakh by the Estate office for non-vacation of a government flat.
According to sources, some officials were forcibly shunted out for having disproportionate assets, as in the case of Atul Dikshit, who was charged by the CBI in a disproportion assets case to the tune of 78.46 per cent in excess of his known sources of income.
Assistant Commissioner of Mumbai GST Zone Vinod Kr. Sangha, Assistant Commissioner of Bhubaneswar GST Zone S.S. Bisht and Deputy Commissioner of Delhi GST Zone Amresh Jain were also among the 15 compulsorily retired officials.
Assistant Commissioner of CC(AR) - Allahabad Mohd Altaf was retired for being involved in smuggling of red sanders. He was a co-noticee in two case of smuggling and was fined Rs 2.05 crore by the adjucating authorities.