IT order to reveal finances to info seeker stayed

Last Updated: Friday, November 4, 2011 - 19:26

New Delhi: An Income Tax Department`s order,
terming a religious Trust a "deemed public authority" for
availing tax rebates and asking it to disclose its finances to
a person under the transparency law, has been stayed by the
Delhi High Court.

A single-judge bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi stayed the
order of the in-house IT appellate authority, mandated to deal
with appeals under the Right to Information Act, on a plea by
Shri Sai Bhakta Samaj, a religious trust managing the popular
Sai Baba Temple here at Lodhi Colony in South Delhi.

The trust had contended in its appeal against IT
appellate authority`s order that it is out of the purview of
RTI Act as it is not a public authority as the tax exemption
cannot be treated as government funding and even if it is
treated so, it is not substantial for rendering it a public
authority.

ZCZC
PRI ECO ESPL LGL NAT
.NEWDEL DES17
HC-SAIBABA
IT order to reveal finances to info seeker stayed
New Delhi: An Income Tax Department`s order,
terming a religious Trust a "deemed public authority" for
availing tax rebates and asking it to disclose its finances to
a person under the transparency law, has been stayed by the
Delhi High Court.

A single-judge bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi stayed the
order of the in-house IT appellate authority, mandated to deal
with appeals under the Right to Information Act, on a plea by
Shri Sai Bhakta Samaj, a religious trust managing the popular
Sai Baba Temple here at Lodhi Colony in South Delhi.

The trust had contended in its appeal against IT
appellate authority`s order that it is out of the purview of
RTI Act as it is not a public authority as the tax exemption
cannot be treated as government funding and even if it is
treated so, it is not substantial for rendering it a public
authority.

Justice Sanghi also issued notices to information seeker
S K Kapur, a founding member of the Trust and IT appellate
authority under the RTI Act, Additional Director of Income Tax
(Exemptions), seeking their replies to the Trust`s plea.
The trust had come to the high court challenging the
August 18, 2011, order of Additional Director of Income Tax
(Exemptions).

IT authority had directed the Trust to disclose its tax
return, balance sheet and audit reports of financial years
2008-2009 and 2009-2010 saying the tax exemptions granted to
it can be considered as indirect funding from the government

"Under section 2(h) of the RTI Act, 2005, a substantially
funded agency by the government is deemed public authority.
The financing of the fund may be direct or indirect.

"Since the society is claiming exemption under the Income
Tax Act, it can be said the funds are indirectly being
provided to the society to the extent of tax exemption claimed
by the society," IT authority had said in its order.

The appellate authority had passed the judgment on an
appeal by Kapur against the order of Chief Information
Officer, Income Tax Officer (Exemptions), who had refused the
information holding that information sought pertains to a
"third party" society.

PTI



First Published: Friday, November 4, 2011 - 19:26

More from zeenews

 
comments powered by Disqus