Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Income Tax Directorate of Criminal Investigation Of India

Black money and evasion of taxes has become a headache for Indian government. With the use of information technology, this problem has further been aggravated. With more and more money dealings and transfers are now done electronically, acquiring sound knowledge about computers and cyber forensics techniques is need of the hour.

Keeping all these developments in mind, the Income Tax Department of India is planning to revamp its tax collection mechanism. Among other crucial initiatives, there was also a proposal to create an Income Tax Directorate of Criminal Investigation (ITDCI).

The ITDCI 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.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday announced the setting up of the Directorate of Criminal Investigation in his inaugural speech at the two-day annual conference of I-T chief commissioners and director generals. It will locate crimes or criminals by tracing the movement of money before, during and after a crime. It will also strengthen the ongoing efforts of the department in dealing with issues of black money.

In order to meet the challenges of information technology in general and cyber forensics in particular, the directorate would comprise experts in financial and forensic investigations. It is expected to be notified this month.

The directorate’s creation is part of the Vision 2020 document, released in January, which mandates the I-T department to prepare a strategy to identify reasons behind tax evasions, and to keep tabs on money laundering, narcotics and terror activities.

Although this is a good step in the right direction yet its success depend upon the quality of the experts that would help ITDCI in achieving its purpose. Without good techno legal knowledge, ITDCI cannot succeed in India. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee must choose the experts very sensibly and strictly according to merit alone.

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