CIC says no danger in making the details public
Danish Raza | February 6, 2010
Soon, you will ibe able to get instant information on the status of your refund claim filed with the Customs & Excise department of Noida.
The department has been directed by the Central Information Commission to put up on its website the list of documents required to be submitted with the refund claim application, applications rejected by the department and reasons for rejection.
“This will save the applicants from harassment where the officials bring up arbitrary documentation requirements to reject the cases where their unreasonable demands are not met by the applicants,” said the order by Information Commissioner A.N. Tiwari.
Delhi-based chartered accountant Ajay Goel filed an RTI application with the customs & excise department of Noida. Goel demanded the name of assessee, service tax registration number and amount of refund claimed.
The department refused to divulge the information citing section 8 (1)(g) of the RTI Act 2005.
Under this section, the information can be withheld if the disclosure would endanger the life or physical safety of any person. “They argued that if the amount to be paid to the claimant is made public, it would expose him to danger,” said Goel.
However, the argument was rejected by the CIC. “It is my view that if this information is made public, no harm is likely to be caused to anybody, rather it would help the claimants get to know the status of their respective claims as well the status of the other similar claims,” said Tiwari.
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