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Calling for Income Tax Return, not violative of Right to Privacy as it is a Government Document: Telangana HC [Read Judgment]

Income Tax Return Document - Income Tax Return - Finance Ministry - Taxscan

The Telangana High Court held that a calling for an income tax return by the court is not violative of the fundamental right i.e. the Right to Privacy under Article 21 of Part III of the Constitution of India. The rationale behind this is that the income tax returns is the government document and is accessible to the public at large.

The case was that is a suit the company sought a declaration that the property purchased in the name of the defendant was ‘Benami property’ because of the fact that the sale consideration was actually advanced by the company. The defendant, in this case, was the additional director of the company in whose name the Benami property was purchased. Later on, the defendant was removed from the directorship of the company, furthermore, he refused to return the property as he claimed that it was his property. And so the suit was filed. In the suit, the court summoned the income tax returns from the company. However, the company claimed that submission of the income tax return to the court will ve violative of its fundamental rights i.e. right to privacy under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

The issue raised in this case was whether the summoning of the income tax return document is violative of right to privacy under Article 21 or not?

The High Court of Telangana in the light of the facts and the precedents stated held that the Income Tax Return is the government document and an income tax return called/summoned by the court does not violate the right to privacy under Article 21 of Part III of the Constitution of India.

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