Respondent: The appellant has filed almost 300 RTI applications & all information provided including inspection of records - Appellant did not avail the opportunity to appear before the CIC to contest the respondent’s submissions - CIC closed the matter
File No. CIC/RM/A/2014/001963
1. From which date penalty proceeding under Section 271 started after the order of High court.
2. Upto what date penalty proceeding under section 271 were applicable after order of Tribunal.
3. Inform with in how much time penalty proceeding were to be completed after order of ITAT.
4. Inform the name of status of officers to whom the assessee should contact if penalty proceeding are initiated contrary to the provision of section 275 of Income Tax Act, 1961.
5. Whether Income Tax officers can appoint senior Advocate to contests assessee in appeal knowing following that penalty is not imposed in accordance to section 275 of Income Tax Act, 1961.
File No. CIC/RM/A/2014/004306
1. Provide certified/ attested copies of all field of assessment and re-assessment of AY 1997- 98 & AY 1998-99 M/s Monika India.
2. Inform the date of receipt of order of Income Tax appellate Tribunal – Mumbai for M/s Monika India of Assessment Year 1997-98 as well as date of receipt for Assessment Year 1998-99.
3. Inform the name of ITO who had to comply with the order of ITAT, Mumbai for assessment year 1997-98 & AY 1998-99 of M/s Monika India.
4. Inform the charges to be paid as per RTI Rules for complete, certified/ Attested copies of files M/s Monika India for Assessment year 1997-98 and 1998-99.
5. Whether there is any separate file for Assessment Year 1997-98 and 1998-99 of M/s Monika India regarding correspondence with your internal Department. If to provide certified/ attested copies of the same.
6. Provide present address of Assessing Officer of Assessment and re-assessment of 1997- 98 and 1998-99 of M/s Monika India.
File No. CIC/RM/A/2014/002018+002021
The appellant has sought the following information in reference to letter No. ZO/LDH/2013- 14/11777 dt. 23/12/2013 of Punjab & Sind Bank, Zonal Office, noble enclave, Bhai Bala Chowk, Ludhiana
1. As per above letter of bank dated 23/12/2013, S No. 8, provide the copy of your letter under which FDR has been attached by Income Tax Department.
2. Inform when there is credit balance, whether you have withdrawn your attachment on FDR till date or not? If no, provide copy of relevant note sheet under which FDR are attached of Bank A/c M/s Monika India.
3. Inform it is legal or moral duty of Income Tax officer to withdrawn the attachment on FDR or only concerned parties have to follow up with Income Tax officer.
4. Inform the name & status of your Senior officer responsible for such lapsing of Income Tax officer and causing unnecessary correspondence & waste of time of Assessee & Public Servants.
5. Provide copy of your letter if any vide which you have withdrawn attachment on FDR A/c of M/s Monika India with Punjab & Sind Bank, Ludhiana.
File No. CIC/RM/A/2014/002020
The appellant has sought the information in respect to the demand in the case of Sanjeev Woollen Mills, property attached at B-49, phase VII, Focal point, Ludhiana in the case of M/s Sanjeev Woollen Mills and copies in respect to the correspondence in regard to auction with the O/o TRO- 12(2), Mumbai, TRO, Ludhiana and other officers of Income Tax Department.
File No. CIC/RM/A/2014/002028
The appellant has sought the information in respect of details relating to refund, adjustment of refund of M/s Monika India against the demand of M/s Sanjeev Woollen Mill and details thereof, bank account and property attachment in the case of M/s Monika India.
File No. CIC/RM/A/2014/003005
Going through Account Sheet (ITNS-150) of M/s Sanjeev Woollen Mills AY 1993-94 dt.30/05/2013, it is notices that interest for the period Jan’97 to Dec’97 has been calculated / charged twice
1. Inform the name of person who has made the calculation.
2. Whether the said calculation are checked or not, if so, by whom.
3. Inform the procedure to get is rectified.
4. What action is contemplated against the concerned responsible clerks/ Officers for extra addition of interest of Rs. 35 lacs.
5. Inform the name of the person who has calculated additional Tax liability of Rs.2,38,65,400 and on whose instant that amount of Rs. 2,38,65,400 was deleted.
6. Inform your total demand of Income Tax as on 15/03/2014 and Interest U/s 220(2).
7. Inform the procedure and name of the officer to whom I may request for waiver of Interest U/s 220(2).
8. Inform normally how much time it take to get the decision of Income Tax Authority regarding waiver of Interest U/s 220(2) of Income Tax.
File No. CIC/RM/A/2014/003006
1. The detail of Income Tax or Penalty year wise with breakup of Actual amount of Tax or Penalty and Interest separately assessment year wise.
2. Inform total how much interest is included under Section 220 (2) in the amount Rs.5,34,22,642/-
3. Inform till date how much amount of interest you have recovered from M/s Sanjeev Woollen Mills under Section 220(2) of Income Tax.
4. Inform how much actual demand is pending against AY 1991-92 of M/s Sanjeev Woollen Mills.
5. Inform how much regular interest is against above demand of AY 1991-92.
6. Inform how much interest is under Section 220(2) for AY 1991-92 & 1993-94.
Grounds for the Second Appeal: The CPIO has not provided the desired information.
Relevant Facts emerging during Hearing: The following were present
Respondent: Mr. Ganesh Shetty CPIO/ITO 17(2)(3), Ms. Amita Lad CPIO/TO TRO & Ms. Vaishali Pawar CPIO/ITO 17(3)(2) representative through VC It is seen that in all the appeals information sought relates to income tax matters of M/s. Sanjeev Woolen Mills and/or Monica India and hence they heard together and disposed of by a common order. The CPIO/ITO 17(2)(3) stated that he is the AO for M/s. Monica India and no demand is pending against the assessee and all possible information has been supplied to the appellant in response to his RTI applications. The CPIO/ITO TRO stated that there is demand pending against M/s. Sanjeev Woolen Mills; however, all information requested by the appellant has been furnished to him. The respondents pointed out that the appellant has been filing multiple RTI applications seeking repetitive information and the Commission in its order dated 04/06/2013 [file No. CIC/DS/A/2011/003880] had directed to allow inspection of all files relating to M/s. Sanjeev Woolen Mills & M/s. Monica India and the order has been complied and the appellant has gone through all the available records.
The CPIOs informed that the appellant has filed almost 300 RTI applications and a lot of time & effort is being spent in collecting & furnishing information which is causing undue diversion of the limited resources of the public authority. They vehemently pleaded that the Commission should restrain the applicant from filing further RTI applications as no larger public purpose is being served and only resulting in harassment to the department. They cited Hon’ble Supreme Court’s decision dated 09/08/2011 in Civil Appeal No. 6454 of 2011 Central Board of Secondary Education & Anr. vs. Aditya Bandopadhyay & Ors holding that the RTI Act should not allowed to be misused.
The Hon’ble High Court of Gujarat in its decision dated 14/11/2014 [SPA No 16480/2014 Pankesh Manubhai Patel vs. Chief Information Commissioner and ors] has held as under: .
“5. The Commission has recorded reasons in para-4, which reads as under.
4. We agree with the Respondents that collecting this information would disproportionately divert their resources from the day to day work. The Appellant has not established any larger public interest, which would warrant a directive to the Respondents to collect the information, sought by him, even at the cost of diverting their resources from their day to day work. In the above context, we also note the following observations of the Supreme Court in Central Board of Secondary Education and Anr. Vs. Aditya Bandopadhyay and Ors."
‘Indiscriminate and impractical demands or directions under RTI Act for disclosure of all and sundry information (unrelated to transparency and accountability in the functioning of public authorities and eradication of corruption) would be counterproductive as it will adversely affect the efficiency of the administration and result in the executive getting bogged down with the non-productive work of collecting and furnishing information. The Act should not be allowed to be misused or abused, to become a tool to obstruct the national development and integration, or to destroy the peace, tranquility and harmony among its citizens. Nor should it be converted into a tool of oppression or intimidation of honest officials striving to do their duty. The nation does not want a scenario where 75% of the staff of public authorities spends 75% of their time in collecting and furnishing information to applicants instead of discharging their regular duties. The threat of penalties under the RTI Act and the pressure of the authorities under the RTI Act should not lead to employees of public authorities prioritising 'information furnishing' at the cost of their normal and regular duties.’
6. Having considered the relationship between the petitioner and the respondent authorities and the information asked for by the petitioner, this Court finds that, the view taken by the Commission in the facts of this case does not call for any interference. Further, the Commission has noted the observations of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, which would apply with full force in the facts of this case. This Court does not see any infirmity in the impugned decision of the Commission. This petition therefore needs to be dismissed.” The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi in its decision dated 08/10/2015 [W.P.(C) No. 7911/2015 & CM No. 15991/2015 of 2015 - Rajni Maindiratta- Vs Director of Education ( North West – B) ] has held as under:
“8. ………………. Though undoubtedly, the reason for seeking the information is not required to be disclosed but when it is found that the process of the law is being abused, the same become relevant. Neither the authorities created under the RTI Act nor the Courts are helpless if witness the provisions of law being abused and owe a duty to immediately put a stop thereto.”
The respondents have submitted that the appellant has filed almost 300 RTI applications and has been supplied all possible information including inspection of records relating to M/s. Sanjeev Woolen Mills and M/s. Monica India. The appellant has not availed the opportunity to appear before the Commission to canvass his case/contest the respondent’s submissions. In the above circumstances we are unable to provide any relief. The matters are closed.
Citation: Mr. S P Goyal v. Income tax Department in File No. CIC/RM/A/2014/001963+004306+002018+002021+002020+002028+003005+003006/BS/9713