Rationalisation of the provisions in respect of power to call for information
The existing provisions of section 133 empower certain income-tax authorities to call for information for the purpose of any inquiry or proceeding under the Act. The second proviso to the said section provides that the power in respect of an inquiry, in a case where no proceeding is pending, shall not be exercised by any income-tax authority below the rank of the Principal Director or Director or the Principal Commissioner or Commissioner without the prior approval of such authorities.
Considering the requirement of the work profile of the authorities working in the Investigation Directorate, it is proposed to amend the first proviso of the said section and provide that the power in respect of inquiry or proceeding under the Act, as referred to in clause (6) of the said section, may also be exercised by the Joint Director, the Deputy Director and the Assistant Director.
It is further proposed to amend the second proviso of the said section to provide that the Joint Director, the Deputy Director or the Assistant Director may exercise the powers in respect of such inquiry, without seeking prior approval of higher authorities.
These amendments will take effect from lst April, 2017.
Extract of relevant clause from Finance Bill, 2017
Amendment of section 133.
52. In section 133 of the Income-tax Act,—
(i) in the first proviso, for the words “and the Principal Commissioner or Commissioner”, the words “or the Principal Commissioner or Commissioner or the Joint Director or Deputy Director or Assistant Director” shall be substituted;
(ii) in the second proviso, after the words “Director or Principal Commissioner or Commissioner”, the words “, other than the Joint Director or Deputy Director or Assistant Director,” shall be inserted.