As per media reports, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) may have opined to Election Commission (EC) that the scrutiny of assets declared by lawmakers in their poll affidavits cannot be disclosed to the public.
The Election Commission had earlier 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, is however, 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.
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.
It was said that the 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.>