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Is the presence of Rifle Equipped CRPF Jawans in Income Tax Search Legal ? Can the FIR be lodged against CRPF Jawans?  

Is the presence of Rifle Equipped CRPF Jawans in Income Tax Search Legal ? Can the FIR be lodged against CRPF Jawans?

Rifle Equipped CRPF Jawans in Incometax Search

04.08.2017 :  From Day before yesterday morning, on all media channels and later in the Rajya Sabha, the case of Income-tax Raid / Search against  Karnataka Minister D.K.Rajkumar was shadowed. Congress Leaders have charged a serious allegation on TV channels that the first time in Indian History,  CRPF was planted in an Income Tax Red. Another serious charge is that without the permission of the state government, the CRPF  can not  take any action  in any state.

In the context of the political developments in Gujarat and Karnataka, this action and charge becomes quite important. In this article, attempts will be made to look whether the CRPF participation in an Income-tax search is fair and valid and whether  an FIR against the Jawans be filed in Karnataka Police for punishing the CRPF Jawans ?

Whether the CRPF participation in an Income-tax search justified and legitimate? : According to my personal experience, there is no requirement of CRPF or police in the Income Tax Search but the Misuse of CRPF is  done to terrorize and pressurize  the taxpayers. It happens every day with ordinary businessmen but this happened  first time so openly with big political leaders, so the matter got discussed.

As per provisions of  section 132 (2) of Income Tax Act, 1961,  an authorized income-tax Authority can require the services of any Officer Of Central Government, any police officer or both for assisting the search proceedings such as entry into building, search of building and persons and breaking of building etc., and such officers are bound to obey the order of such authorized income-tax Authority.

Therefore, under this law, CRPF or Police is requisitioned by the Authorised Officer and not by any order of the Government of India. Therefore, the presence of CRPF officials in Karnataka’s income tax raid is lawful if requisitioned lawfully u/s 132(2). But in practice, it has also been seen that only a letter was given to a police officer by asking for a police force, which is against the provisions of Section 132 (2) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, because every police officer , officer of the central government and everybody should have the order of the authorized income-tax authority related to that raid / search for his presence.

According to any provision of the Income Tax Act, any officer or employee of the Income Tax Department  has no right to keep arms during search, so any of his associates (CRPF) can not be allowed to keep weapons during the IT search.  According to Section 132 (2) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, there is no right / need for any weapon to implement the search. Can any one say how the the Rifle / AK 47 can be used for execution of an income-tax search. Just a few days ago, An Income Tax Tribunal member in the open court of Income Tax Tribunal (ITAT), during the hearing of a survey appeal, had said that who  surrenders without any pressure ?

But I have a clear legal opinion that it is illegal to make use of AK 47 or other weapons in any form in the income tax raid and each CRPF jawan should have order of the authorized income-tax Authority for attending the search proceedings. In absence any such order, their presence is also gregarious. However, to regularise the such unlawful proceedings, such orders can be made at any time in / back date.

FIR may be filed? : On the one hand, the use of weapons in  Income-tax Search and presence of Armed CRPF jawan is illegal and on the other hand, the matter is directly political. Therefore, if the victim’s are assisted by the Karnataka Police (which is highly unlikely), then FIR against the CRPF Jawans and relevant Income-tax Authorities may be lodged. Not only this, FIR may also be lodged by  any person against the CRPF jawan or income tax officer harassing the taxpayer. In this case, the FIR may be filed in the next few days. 

The surprise statement of the Finance Minister: Nearly all the news channels of the country  shown finance minister Arun Jaitley clarifying  that the CRPF jawans only came to take the minister to his  house to complete the search. But there is no such power in the income tax laws to take any taxpayer from one place to another during the search proceedings.

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