Sunday, January 16, 2011

Income Tax Directorate Of Criminal Investigation Of India

The income tax department (ITD) of India is planning to revamp its tax collection mechanism. Among other crucial initiatives, there is also a proposal to create a directorate of criminal investigation (DCI).

The directorate will maintain a centralised repository of data collected from telephone and Internet intercepts, banking and market transactions, cross-border deals, ATM transactions, etc. The department will also develop cyber forensics capabilities and obtain latest forensics tools.

It seems the directorate would analyse inputs in real time as well as coordinate and share information with other intelligence agencies. Naturally, directorate would act in coordination with other projects like national intelligence grid (Natgrid), unique identification project of India (UID project) or Aadhar project of India, crime and criminal tracking network and systems (CCTNS) project of India (CCTNS Project), etc.

The initiative though praiseworthy has many problems of its own says techno legal experts. There is great possibility of misuse of the intelligence information gathered with the help of such an agency, informs Praveen Dalal, a Supreme Court Advocate and leading Cyber Forensics Expert of India. India has no dedicated Privacy Laws, Data Protection Laws and Data Security Laws and in the absence of such laws DCI should not be established at all, suggests Dalal.

India is already facing lots of troubles for similar projects like Aadhar, Natgrid, CCTNS, etc where in the absence of relevant laws these projects have become unconstitutional. For some strange reasons Indian Parliament has shown a grave indifference towards these crucial laws. Instead of making comprehensive laws in this regard, either India is managing various projects without any law or with the draconian and colonial laws like Indian Telegraph Act, 1885.

Another area of concern that DCI must resolve is regarding a constitutionally sound lawful interception and phone tapping law in India. Presently, phone tapping in India is “Unconstitutionally Performed” and India urgently needs a Lawful Interception Law, suggests Praveen Dalal.

The DCI in general and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in particular must resolve these issues before imposing another unconstitutional authority named DCI. We are already bearing with an unconstitutional authority like UIDAI and DCI should not be a part of this unconstitutional race of Indian government.