Section 133(6) of the Income Tax Act enables the Income Tax Authorities to compel Banks and other Authorities to furnish such information which will be useful in connection with any pending proceeding or an enquiry.
When the information is obtained in connection with a pending proceeding, it would generally relate to a single person or an entity. But when it is in connection with an inquiry, large amounts of data or voluminous information in respect of a number of persons could be obtained. Such large scale information can then be verified and utilized for initiating proceedings, wherever called for. However, for ensuring that there is adequate control on the use of this power, when the information is sought to be obtained for an inquiry and not in connection with a pending proceeding in a particular case, the approval of a Senior Officer of the rank of a Commissioner or Director of Income Tax is required to be obtained.
The Assessing Officers can invoke this power during ongoing assessment proceedings when it becomes necessary for them to obtain information about the assessee from a Bank or any other Authority for verifying the facts presented before them. The Officers in the Central Information branches invoke this Power to Call for data on a large number of persons from Banks, Registrars Of Property, Municipal Authorities, Registrar Of Co-Operative Societies, Automobile Companies and various other Authorities and Agencies.