Addressing manner of investigation done by the income tax authorities using RTI
Referring to an investigation done by the Income Tax authorities, the appellant complained to the President of India, claiming that there was some more investigation which should have been done in the case. He filed an application under Right to Information (RTI) Act with the President Secretariat in respect of his complaint. Hearing this case (CIC/WB/C/2010/00091), the Central Information Commission (CIC) had directed the Public Information Officer (PIO) concerned from the relevant investigation unit to appear before them and explain why the desired information had not been provided to the appellant in time. The Commission had also ordered his Registry to provide the information received by it from the Directorate of Income Tax, (Investigation).
During the hearing, the respondents representing the said public authority submitted that the RTI application had been received by them on transfer from the President Secretariat and they had discovered that the subject matter did not relate to them and they had informed the appellant about it. The officer of the Registry of the CIC informed that he had shared whatever information had been received from the Income Tax authorities with the appellant.
View of CIC
The Commission observed that there is no information which needs to be disclosed to the appellant. His complaint to the President of India was against the Income Tax authorities and the CIC can do very little to persuade the income tax authorities to conduct an investigation in any particular manner. The quality of the investigation conducted by the income tax authorities cannot the subject matter of any RTI request. The Commission further held that if the appellant feels that the income tax authorities have not investigated the case properly, he has to take up this matter with the appropriate authority within the Income Tax or in a court of law. The Commission rejected the appeal stating that there is no ground to find any fault with the PIO of the Income Tax, (Investigation) and that the subject matter is clearly beyond them.
Citation: Shri Ashwani Kumar v President’s Secretariat, Ministry of Finance, DG (Investigation), DI – I, ADI (Unit I) - A.R.A. Centre in File No.CIC/SM/A/2011/001309
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/574
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission