Undue influence/coercion in the recording of the statement during Search/Survey/Other proceeding will be viewed by the Board adversely

F. No. 286/98/2013-IT (Inv.I1)
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Direct Taxes
Room No. 265A, North Block
New Delhi, the 18th December, 2014

To
1. All Principal Chief Commissioners of Income Tax
2. All Chief Commissioners of Income Tax
3. All Directors General of Income Tax (Inv.)
4. Director General of Income Tax (I &CI), New Delhi

Subject: Admissions of
Undisclosed Income under coercion/pressure during Search/Survey –reg.

Ref:

1) CBDT letter F. No. 286/57/2002-IT (Inv.11) dt. 03-07-2002
2) CBDT letter F. No. 286/2/2003-IT (Inv.II) dt. 10-03-2003
3) CBDT letter F. No. 286/98/2013-IT (Inv.11) dt. 09-Q1-2014

Sir/Madam,

Instances/complaints of
undue influence/coercion have come to notice of the CBDT that some assessees
were coerced to admit undisclosed income during Searches/Surveys conducted by
the Department. It is also seen that many such admissions are retracted in the
subsequent proceedings since the same are not backed by credible evidence. Such
actions defeat the very purpose of Search/Survey operations as they fail to
bring the undisclosed income to tax in a sustainable manner leave alone levy of
penalty or launching of prosecution. Further, such actions show the Department
as a whole and officers concerned in poor light

2. I am further directed to
invite your attention to the Instructions/Guidelines issued by CBDT from time
to time, as referred above, through which the Board has emphasized upon the
need to focus on gathering evidences during Search/Survey and to strictly avoid
obtaining admission of undisclosed income under coercion/undue influence.

3. In view of the above,
while reiterating the aforesaid guidelines of the Board, I am directed to
convey that any instance of undue influence/coercion in the recording of the
statement during Search/Survey/Other proceeding under the I.T. Act, 1961 and/or
recording a disclosure of undisclosed income under undue pressure/ coercion
shall be viewed by the Board adversely.

4. These guidelines may be
brought to the notice of all concerned in your Region for strict compliance.

5. I have been further
directed to request you to closely observe/oversee the actions of the officers
functioning under you in this regard.

6. This issues with
approval of the Chairperson, CBDT

(K. Ravi Ramchandran)
Director (Inv.)-II, CBDT

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