Income tax Survey outcome disclosure to complainant directed under RTI Act
ABCAUS Case Law Details:
001 2016 (06) CIC
Date of Decision/Judgment: June 2016
Brief Facts of the Case:
The appellant has sought copy of survey report held in January 2014 on his complaint. According to the appellant he had lodged a complaint based on which the income tax department had carried out a survey. The Appellant wanted a copy of the report for claiming reward paid to informants. However, the CPIO, Income Tax Department, Neemuch stated that the survey was not conducted on the basis of the complaint filed by the appellant. It was further stated that there was no provision for payment of reward in such cases. Also, that the assessment proceedings had not been concluded and in any case the information was related to third party and exempted from disclosure under Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act.
Aggrieved by the order of CPIO, the appellant filed appeal before Central Information Commission on the ground that the CPIO had not provided the desired information.
Excerpts from CIC Decision:
The Hon’ble Supreme Court in the matter of Girish Ramchandra Deshpande [decision dated 03/10/2012 – SLP(C) No. 27734 of 2012] has held that information relating to income tax matters of an assessee is “personal information” which stands exempted from disclosure under clause (j) of Section 8(1) of the RTI Act, unless the CPIO is satisfied that larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information.
This Commission in its order dated 18/06/2013 (File No. CIC/RM/A/2012/000926 Sh. Ved Prakash Doda v/s ITO) has 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 matter at hand assessment proceedings are in progress. The CPIO is directed to disclose the broad outcome of the TEP/complaint to the appellant as soon as the proceedings have been concluded.