'TaxTonic', a 'subscriber only' thought leadership series, is Taxsutra's endeavour to consistently deliver top notch technical content to it's readers. The labyrinth of tax rulings on convoluted transactions keeps the world of taxation unpredictable and ever-evolving. This series will feature engrossing presentations, incisive analyses and a deep-dive by the tax experts on burning issues & controversies. So, gear up for a 'tonic' to chisel your tax mind and challenge your wit.
Mr. Tarun Gulati (Senior Advocate)
Mr. Sachin Sastakar (Chartered Accountant)
What shall the episode cover?
The Government agencies enjoy sovereign power to conduct search and seizure operations under various laws. Such power has been perceived to be draconian in nature due to its ramifications on the searched persons' civil liberties. Right to Privacy was not part of the fundamental rights as originally enshrined in the Constitution. After decades of litigation, a nine judges bench of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the historic 'Puttaswamy' judgment elevated the Right to Privacy to the status of a fundamental right. Today, in addition to 'Reasons to Believe', the taxpayers also potentially have Right to Privacy as a defence against search operations.
The use of technology in search operations has possibly placed the Right to Privacy in some peril, which brings Writ Courts at the centre-stage to decide the limitations of sovereign's power to conduct invasive search operations and contours of the incipient Right to Privacy. This Right may also have a bearing on the post-search investigation where statements are taken on oath and used in conducting assessments.
In order to demystify the interplay of Right to Privacy with the Direct and Indirect Tax Laws, Taxsutra presents the next episode of TaxTonic. The episode is broadly focused on the following aspects of Right to Privacy:
1. General Meaning & Implications.
2. Relevance in search cases under Direct & Indirect Tax Laws.
3. Impact on material gathered and data cloned during search operations.
4. Jurisdiction of Courts to test validity of search operation or requisition.
5. Need for legal aid during search operation and post-search investigation.
6. Admissibility of evidence obtained in invalid/unlawful search operations in tax and other legal proceedings.
7. Impact of unlawful search operations and immunity granted to the authorities for actions taken in good faith.
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