Opinion Of Eminent Legal Luminaries On Controversial Issues

Can RTI Be Invoked For Knowing Reason For Scrutiny Notice?

QUERY: Can the assessee call for information under R.T.I. Act for his case selected on manual basis i.e. the reason for selection of his case for detailed scrutiny?
ANSWER: No, as per the Guidelines for Income tax scrutiny for financial year 2010/11 i.e. assessment year 2011/12 published on September 27, 2010, it has been clarified that:

1. Selection of cases for scrutiny during the financial year 2010-11 will be done primarily through CASS this year. Manual Selection for scrutiny this year will be limited only to a few categories of cases listed below.

2. List of cases selected during each month in accordance with the selection criteria mentioned below shall be submitted by the Assessing Officers to their respective Range heads by the 15th of the following month and also displayed on the Notice Board of their office.

3. These guidelines are meant only for the use of officers of the Income Tax Department. These are not be disclosed even if a request is made under the Right to Information Act, in view of the decision of the Central Information Commission in the case of Shri Kamal Anand vs. Director (ITA-II), CBDT (Order No. CIC/AT/2007/00617 dated 21-2-2008).

Selection criteria Applicable to all return at all Stations

a) Value of international transaction as defined u/s 92B exceeds Rs. 15 crore.

b) Cases involving addition in an earlier assessment year in excess of Rs. 10 lakhs on a substantial and recurring question of law or fact which is confirmed in appeal or is pending before an Appellate Authority.

c) Cases involving addition in an earlier assessment year on the issue of transfer pricing in excess of Rs. 10 lakhs or more.

d) Assessments in survey cases for the financial year in which survey was carried out. This criteria will not apply if all of the following conditions are fulfilled:

(i) There are no impounded books or documents.

(ii) There is no retraction of disclosure made during the survey.

(iii) Declared income, excluding any disclosure made during the survey, is not less than the declared income of the preceding assessment year.

e) Assessment in Search & Seizure cases to be made under sections 158B, 158BC, 158BD, 153A 153C & 143(3) of the IT Act.

f) Assessments initiated under section 147/ 148 of the IT Act.

g) Assessing Officer may select any return of scrutiny after recording the reasons and obtaining approval of the CCIT/DGIT. The cases under this category should be selected if there are compelling reasons and the case is not selected through CASS. There cases should be watched by CCIT/ CIT in respect of the quality of assessment. (F. No. 225/93/2009/ITA.II)

So, if an assessee is falling in any one of the criteria then, his assessment could be for scrutiny even though not selected by CASS.
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4 comments on “Can RTI Be Invoked For Knowing Reason For Scrutiny Notice?
  1. My view is:
    Taxation is covered under Art 265 of the constitution of india.

    Due procedure laid down by law. what is the Law and the due procedure?

    Every thing emanates from the constitution only.
    that does not necessarily mean what court has said yesterday but every time the new judgement is valid while the past judgement is invalidated, depending upon the new facts brought before the courts.

    Stare decis can also be invalidated by the new sets of facts.

    coming to thiss, one has to read the bare article 265 and leave alone various judgements which are likely to be declared void by a new set of facts after all ‘facts’ only are primary factor for any court more so to the very supreme court too after all supreme court ought to weigh the facts with the bare Articles only.

    Bare articles are the only contractual clauses between the people and the constituent assembly and the machinery found as three aspects – executive/parliament/judiciary, called the separation of powers so apportioned and accepted as a terms of reference between the people and the constituent assembly. That is always valid, that cannot be mangled by any of the separation of powers, if any does, it is arbitrary action only, that might cause agitation in the minds of people who are the real self ruling entity only, all others are transitory, questioned by the people at anytime, by any means.

    Right to information is the very right of the citizens only not constrained by any authority at all, after all people can give unto themselves that right, no right is there is for the parliament, once people disagree with parliament after all parliament is an instrument of the people likely to be modified by people once in five years or even earlier if they get agitated.

    So my view is we cannot over rate the income tax Act 1961 as amended, for that act can ever be questioned before the honorable supreme court if and when people doubted the sanctity of the Act.

    That way only we have the constitutional right as the people of india.

    Politicians might make many meaningless changes as if they are the rulers, but in fact the real rulers are the very people themselves if one really appreciates the impact of the constitutionality of the indian constitution.

    you could have read in 1925 Young India wherein Gandhiji wrote there is no ‘caste’ at all and he questioned Mr. Ramsay Mac Donald then PM of
    Britain when he brought the great communal rotation, and that questioning of gandhiji was accepted by Dr.B.R. Ambedkar and he accepted Gandhiji’s views.

    But he soon played politics when idea of Dalits surfaced though he knew pretty well there were no castes at all as per the sociological history from recorded history of 1500 BC. though people lived in india since 50,000 years (fifty thousand years).

    Similarly, so called Mandal commission surfaced, as there is no system like in USA, judges to supreme court ought to be appointed from the opposition party members only by the president of USA.

    if that were to be so, the Mondal commission would not have seen the light of the day.

    Only politicians payed havoc, similarly further havoc surfaced when creamy layer is loaded by the then Kerala govt under Karunakaran government.

    Even hon S C tried to punish the chief secretary of kerala govt but the state government by its so called creamy layer legislation which was further later okayed by the union government as the people were non pulsed by the s called arbitrary action of politicians.

    so every statute can be ‘ripped’apart before the honorable supreme court that way we created the hon judiciary as the third wing rto protect the interest of the people.

    That way advocacy came into being that need to be rightly nurtured to save the potential citizens’ rights in india is my considered opinion.

  2. i do not agree with the expert. No govt can have a privacy from citizen who is the defure sovereign.Besides under Art 368(4) the RTI Act could be questioned.
    Yo u could have seen it is something like schedule IX position found in first constitutional amendment.

    It is a settled law no statute can be private to the government but every statute is bound to be questioned under judicial review.

    you certainly need good advocacy after all interpretation of statutes calls for high level capabilities that way hon SC struck down CAs appearing at NTT besides very Act is struck down in Madras bar assn case.

    CAs are capable accountants say taxation accountants and to claim superiority on interpretation of statutes could be possible if they delve deep in the ocean of interpretation of statutes.

    Interpretation of statutes does not mean just reading the very statute, that is any lower court advocacy could but superior level advocacy calls for the ability to question the very statute itself is my considered opinion.

    i have nothing against our brothers CAs but i call for superior level interpretation, that has to be understood. that is all.

  3. Sivaiah G says:

    This expert appears to be not aware of Delhi High Court judgement in the case of Joginderpal Gulati wherein the High court has held that the reasons should be made available to the assessee. Therefore, the CBDT also giving manual scrutiny guidelines in the form of instruction which is available on web sites these days.

  4. Z M Kapasi says:

    In all scrutiny, the Assessing officer always informs the assessee as to why his case has been selected for scrutiny.

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