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Delhi High Court
Namit Verma vs Union Of India And Ors. on 30 August, 2000
Equivalent citations: 2001 247 ITR 49 Delhi
Bench: A Pasayat, D Jain


JUDGMENT

1. Making allegation that adequate and proper action is not being taken under Section 132 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (in short “the Act”), this petition is stated to have been filed in public interest. It is also stated that some people, who occupy high positions are being shielded. The petition is based mainly on some newspaper reports and copies of some proceedings before Parliament. On a perusal of the documents annexed, we find there is no authentic or reliable material to substantiate the plea that the authorities are not acting as required under law. It is settled Saw that newspaper reports do not constitute evidence. Even the newspaper reports annexed do not indicate the basis for the view that proper action is not being taken. Except vague statements no definite materials are there. In almost all cases it is stated the sources are income-tax officials who allegedly supplied the information on assurance of anonymity. It is very easy to allege mala fides and inaction as has been done in this case. But no material exists to substantiate it. The petitioner wanted this court to ask the respondents to give reply and supply material and furnish details. Public interest litigation is not meant to be a fishing for information expe-

dition. It is submitted that proceedings before Parliament show inaction and/evasive action. We do not find anything of the nature in the documents annexed in that regard. It is submitted that one of the Income-tax Officers named has also spoken about inaction. On being asked if he was one of the officers involved in the assessment and/or search or any other proceeding the petitioner candidly stated that he was not. It was accepted that the concerned officer has been proceeded against and has been placed under suspension. But it was stated that the statements were made before he was suspended. In our view that hardly makes a difference. That being the position we do not think it desirable to draw any inference about inaction as alleged. It is submitted that in another High Court notice has been issued, and we should follow similar procedure. In what background said action has been taken is not spelt out. Therefore, we do not accept the prayer. On a reading of the petition, and on hearing the petitioner who has appeared in person, we are convinced that the petition is not pro bono publico ; it is not a genuine public interest petition and has been filed for oblique purposes, on unfounded allegations which are not even substantiated by any acceptable material that the authorities are not acting as they are required to do under the statute, we do not entertain this petition.

2. It goes without saying that the authorities who are in seisin of the proceedings under the Act, are to act as provided in law. We find no material to show that they are not doing so. Since we find the petition is not in public interest as indicated above we dismiss the petition with costs fixed at Rs. 20.000.

3. Dismissed.

4. After dismissal of the petition, the petitioner continued to argue, notwithstanding our repeated direction not to do so. We feel this is a clear act of contempt. We issue notice of contempt requiring the petitioner who is present in person to show cause why proceedings under the Contempt of Court Act shall not be initiated against him for continuing to argue despite repeated directions not to do so after the order of dismissal has been passed by us. He shall appear in person on September 20, 2000. and file a reply to show cause.


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