Can Directorate General of Income Tax deny information regarding complaint of tax evasion?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the DGIT (Investigation) seeking information regarding three complaints filed by him relating to tax evasion committed by certain people. The Public Information Officer (PIO) stated that the Office of Directorate General of Income Tax (DGIT) (Investigation) is exempt from the purview of the RTI Act and rejected the request.
During the hearing the before Central Information Commission (CIC), the appellant submitted that he has not been provided information in respect of the queries raised by him and alleged wrong doing on the part of the Public Authority. The PIO submitted that the Office of DG (Investigation) has been included in the second schedule of the RTI Act as Intelligence and Security organization and excluded from the purview of the RTI Act.
View of CIC
The Commission observed that though the Office of DGIT (Investigation) is an exempted organization, a blanket ban on disclosure of information regarding action taken on a tax evasion petition is not the best policy. The CIC held that some sort of feedback should be provided to the person who provides information. The Commission directed the PIO to apprise the appellant of the broad outcome of the investigation without giving any specific details.
Citation: Mr. Ashok Kumar Gupta v. DIT (Inv.), Air Int. Unit, & DIT (Inv.), SB/AIT in File No. CIC/RM/A/2012/000699
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1280
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission