Information relating to a scrutiny of IT assessment - scrutiny guidelines laid down by CBDT every year are exclusively meant for external use and making them public would facilitate the tax evaders – CIC: disclosure exempt u/s 8(1)(a) and 8(1)(g)
Vide RTI dt 21.8.12, appellant had sought information on 3 points relating to a proposal of Addl CIT Range-3 Bokaro to CIT Hazaribagh, regarding scrutiny of assessment proceedings of Paramji @ His Holyman for AY 2003-04.
2. CPIO/JCIT Range-3 Bokaro vide letter dt 7.11.12, provided information in respect of query no.2. In respect of query no.1, it was observed that the proposal for scrutiny of return of any assessee contains statement of reasons for selection of case for scrutiny and as per CIC decision dt 21.2.08 (CIC/AT/A/2007/00617) the scrutiny guidelines formulated and circulated by CBDT is not to be disclosed under the RTI Act. Accordingly, information in point no.1 was denied.
3. An appeal was filed on 6.12.12 stating that CIC decision is not applicable in the case and information asked for is required to get justice for Paramji and harassment caused to him by the Assessing Officer during the process of scrutiny.
4. AA vide order dt 21.12.12 observed that scrutiny guidelines laid down by CBDT every year are exclusively meant for external use and making them public would amount to facilitating the unscrupulous tax payers in their effort to evade tax. This would adversely affect the economic interests of the State. Moreover, the guidelines are protected from disclosure by a CIC order referred to by the CPIO. AA upheld the decision of the CPIO quoting Section 8(1)(a) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an offence; and Section 8(1)(g) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information, the disclosure of which would endanger the life or physical safety of any person or identify the source of information or assistance given in confidence for law enforcement or security purposes; of the RTI Act. 5. Submissions made by public authority were heard. In the absence of the appellant, his views could not be ascertained.
6. The Commission sees no reason to interfere with the orders of the CPIO/AA. The appeal is disposed of.
Central Information Commissioner
Citation: Shri Radha Raman Tripathy v. JCIT in Case No. CIC/RM/A/2013/000157