Information regarding a Tax Evasion Petition filed with the DG (Investigation) was denied claiming that the organisation is exempt from the purview of RTI Act u/s 24 - CIC: Disclose the broad outcome of the investigation to the complainant
O R D E R
The Complainant vide his RTI application sought information on three points regarding name, designation and contact details of the official appointed or referred to by the Respondent to investigate the Complaint filed by him on 23.04.2015 against one Mrs. Shristi Gupta and Mr. Mukesh Gupta both R/o 784, Veersavarkar Block, Saraswati Vihar Housing Board Colony, MG Road, Gurgaon, Haryana, details of action taken against them by the concerned official on the aforementioned complaint filed by him and issues related thereto.
The CPIO and Dy. Director of Income Tax (Inv.) (Hqrs), O/o DGIT (Inv.) New Delhi vide its letter dated 05.05.2015, transferred the RTI Application to the CPIO, O/o the DGIT (Inv.), Chandigarh who in turn vide its letter dated nil stated that as per notification in the Gazette of India, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievance and Page 2 of 3 Pensions, Department of Income Tax (Inv.) had been included in the second schedule to RTI Act, 2005 i.e., organization to which the Act does not apply.
Facts emerging during the hearing:
The following were present:
Complainant : Mr. S.C. Gosain, Representative of Mr. Rakesh Gosain (M: 9560097670) in person;
Respondent: Mr. Yogesh Yadav, Inspector O/o DGIT (Inv.), New Delhi (M: 9968300196) in person; and Mr. Chandresh Kumar, ITO, Panchkula (M: 9468300420) through VC;
The Complainant reiterated the contents of his RTI application and stated that satisfactory information was not provided to him, till date. It was submitted that he had sought information regarding a Tax Evasion Petition (TEP) filed by him. In its reply, the Respondent (Delhi) submitted that the RTI application was transferred vide their letter dated 05.05.2015 to CPIO, DGIT (Inv.), Chandigarh and they had nothing more to add. The Respondent, Panchkula submitted that the Complainant was informed that as per notification in the Gazette of India issued by Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievance and Pensions [Department of Income Tax (Inv.)] had been included in the Second Schedule to RTI Act, 2005, to which RTI Act does not apply. On a query from the Commission regarding the status of the TEP Complaint, the Respondent (Panchkula) informed that the Complaint had been registered in accordance with their extant guidelines and was being investigated accordingly. The Complainant further explained that the information sought pertained to his wife and the Third Party clause was wrongly invoked by the CPIO vide his letter dated 18.04.2015. It was further submitted that the matrimonial dispute was being contested in the Court for which he required the said information.
The Commission in the decision of Shri Virag R. Dhulia v. Income Tax Department, Kolkata in CIC/LS/A/2009/001179 dated 18.02.2010 had held as under:
“It is to be noted that investigation into a TEP cannot be allowed to go on adinfinitum and that it should be concluded in a reasonable time frame whereafter the broad outcome thereof needs to be communicated to the appellant i.e. whether the allegations made in the TEP are fully true, partially true or untrue. No further information needs to be disclosed at this stage.”
This Commission referred to its order dated 18/06/2013 (File No. CIC/RM/A/2012/000926 Sh. Ved Prakash Doda v/s ITO) wherein it was held as under:
“6. It has been the stand of the Commission that in respect of a tax evasion petition, once the investigation is completed, the appellant should be informed the broad results of the investigation, without disclosing any details. The appellant has a right to know as to whether the information provided by him was found to be true or false.”
In the light of the facts available on record and the submissions made by both the parties, it was noted that in the matter at hand, the investigation was in progress. However, the broad outcome of the investigation should be disclosed to the Complainant as soon as the investigation is completed. The Complaint stands disposed with the above direction.
Citation: Mr. Rakesh Gosain v. Pr. Director of Income Tax (Inv.) in Complaint No.:- CIC/BS/C/2016/000041-BJ, Date of Decision : 07.04.2017