Should DGIT provide information regarding action taken on tax evasion complaints?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Income Tax Office (ITO) seeking information relating to his TEP complaint against SDE, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). The Public Information Officer (PIO) informed appellant that their Directorate was exempt from the provisions of the RTI Act.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) referred to its earlier decision, wherein it was held that blank ban on disclosure of information regarding the action taken on tax evasion complaints may not always be in the best interest of the state revenues. Further it may dis-enthuse the information givers as information givers are generally keen to know whether the information provided by them has been of some value to the authorities or not. Feed back in this regard would motivate the information givers to provide further information to the authorities and thereby enable them to curb tax evasion and enhance the state revenues. The CIC had held that despite the office of DGIT (Investigation) being an exempted organisation, it may not always be the best policy to deny some kind of feed back to the information givers.
The Commission directed the PIO to apprise the appellant whether the TEP filed by him was true or false, once the investigation is completed. The CIC also held that the details of investigations should not be disclosed.
Citation: Mr. Rishipal Singh v. ITO in File No. CIC/DS/A/2011/004135/RM
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1078
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