Tax Evaders- Feed back on action taken by Authorities would motivate the information givers

tax-evaders

Tax Evaders

Information givers on tax evaders 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 informations to the authorities and thereby enable them to curb tax evasion and enhance the state revenues. Viewed thus, despite the office of DG IT (Investigations) being an exempted organization, it may not always be the best policy to deny some kind of feed back to the information givers. The CIC ruled that in case of information about tax evaders once the investigation is completed, the CPIO should inform the appellant as to whether the contents of the TEP were found to be true or false. Full details of investigation, however, need not be disclosed.

The appellant submitted that he has not been provided any response by the public authority, leading to the impression that the person against whom the TEP was filed, has ‘managed’ the IT authorities. AA submitted that the process of investigation into the TEP filed by the appellant is still ongoing.

Tax Evaders

The Commission is of the view that some sort of a feedback should be provided to the information provider once investigation into a tax evasion complaint has been finalised. This issue had come up in the case of Brij Ballabh Singh Vs DGIT(Inv) Lucknow decided by the Commission on 1.1.2010 in appeal no.CIC/LS/A/2009/01014 wherein the Commission had observed:

“3. Besides, it is also to be noted 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. In fact, 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 informations to the authorities and thereby enable them to curb tax evasion and enhance the state revenues. Viewed thus, despite the office of DGIT(Inv) being an exempted organization, it may not always be the best policy to deny some kind of feed back to the information givers.”

The ratio of the above case applies to the present appeal also. Once the investigation is completed, the CPIO should inform the appellant as to whether the contents of the TEP were found to be true or false. Full details of investigation, however, need not be disclosed. Therefore, there is no clear cut demarcation that exempted organisation cannot give information under RTI on the cases which are more than Human Rights and Corruption cases. In the present case, information about tax evaders shall help in bringing follow up of the case with the Government in front of the larger public.

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