Delhi HC sets aside order directing CBDT to provide info on Ram Temple trust | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Delhi HC sets aside order directing CBDT to provide info on Ram Temple trust

Mar 01, 2024 04:36 PM IST

A bench of Justice Subramonium Prasad on Wednesday allowed a Central Public Information Officer (CPIO)’s appeal challenging CIC’s order

The Delhi high court has set aside a Central Information Commission (CIC) order directing the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to disclose information about documents Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, which was set up for the construction and management of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, submitted to get tax exemption for its donations.

The CPIO approached the high court challenging CIC’s November 2022 order. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The CPIO approached the high court challenging CIC’s November 2022 order. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A bench of Justice Subramonium Prasad on Wednesday allowed a Central Public Information Officer (CPIO)’s appeal challenging CIC’s order citing an earlier judgment of the court. The court in the earlier order set aside CIC’s order directing the Income Tax (IT) Department to disclose information related to the grant of tax exemption status to the PM CARES Fund. It said CIC did not have the jurisdiction to direct furnishing of the information available under the IT Act.

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Justice Prasad granted liberty to Kailash Chandra Moondra, who sought information from CBDT under the Right To Information Act, to approach the appropriate authority under the IT Act.

Moondra sought a copy of the complete application (with all the annexure) filed by the trust for getting an exemption/deduction under section 80G of the Income Tax Act for its donations. He filed his application in February 2021, seeking a copy of the trust deed, documents, reports, and the department’s internal notes available on the official file of the application and a copy of the declaration, if any.

CPIO approached the high court challenging CIC’s November 2022 order. The CIC directed the CPIO to revisit points in Moondra’s application related to a copy of the complete application (with all the annexure) coupled with the trust deed and provide information within 15 days.

The CPIO, who appeared through special counsel Zoheb Hussain in the high court, argued the information of an assessee could not be granted under the RTI act citing Section 138 (1)(b) of the IT Act. The section lays down a specific procedure for the disclosure of information to a third party.

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