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RTI News-The Election Commission of India wants to make the DGIT report, which is only a verification report and indicative in nature, public under the RTI ActBy momita
The CBDT has told the EC that disclosing the verification of election affidavits by the Director General of Income Tax (Investigation) under the Right to Informatio is not “feasible” since it would be in contravention of Section 138 of the Income Tax Act.
The Commission, in letters written to CBDT in November 2017 and April this year, had sought clarification on whether the poll panel could allow the public to access reports on the verification of election affidavits by the Director General of Income Tax (Investigation) under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
The EC, The Indian Express has learnt, is of the view that since a verification report is not an investigation report, its disclosure should not be restricted under Section 24 of the RTI Act, which exempts certain organisations from being covered under this law. This includes the Director General of Income Tax (DGIT).
The Commission has further argued that such disclosures are in the interest of voters and will empower aggrieved or interested persons (such as losing candidates) to file a complaint or an FIR against the elected lawmaker under Section 125A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 for providing false information in the election affidavit.
But in its response sent last month, the CBDT has told the EC that disclosing the verification report is not “feasible” since it would be in contravention of Section 138 of the Income Tax Act. Section 138 prescribes a general prohibition on furnishing any information with regard to an assessee under the IT Act. It has also mentioned that such disclosures are punishable.
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