Income tax online return accounts of certain people have been accessed by unauthorised people but there was no hacking or breach of its security system involved, the Finance Ministry says
The Finance Ministry has said that certain online return accounts for income tax filings have been accessed by unauthorised persons.
Replying to an query under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the Ministry said a process of “multifunctional authentication” has been designed and will be in place shortly to address any illegal access to e-filers’ accounts.
Last year, Mumbai Police, which was probing the alleged hacking into Anil Ambani’s e-filing of Income-Tax (I-T) returns account by a Hyderabad-based chartered accountant (CA) student, found that another CA student has hacked into I-T accounts of Sachin Tendulkar, Mahindra Singh Dhoni, Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan.
According to Police, during the probe of the case of a Hyderabad-based young CA student hacking into the IT account of Ambani, it had emerged that the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) chairman’s account was also fraudulently accessed from Noida. The probe took the police to Vishal Kaushal Company, an accountancy firm in Noida, where CA student Sanchit Katiyal (22) was found to have hacked into Ambani’s account as well.
Like the Hyderabad based girl, Sanchit had also for curiosity had hacked into Ambani’s account on 26th June. He first accessed the accounts of Shah Rukh and Salman on 22nd June, Dhoni’s account on 24th June and then broke into Ambani’s account. He again accessed Dhoni’s account on 28th June and Sachin’s account on 4th July.
The Finance Ministry, however, had said no instance of “hacking”, which implies a breach of security whereby the hackers can obtain passwords by entering into the system, has happened or reported in the case of e-filling website.
“However, there have been instances when the authentication details of certain class of e-filers have been obtained by persons from sources other than the website and then the passwords were reset and the e-filing account accessed,” the Ministry said.
To address the issue, a process of multi-functional authentication has been designed and shall be in place shortly. Details thereof, cannot be provided due to security reasons, it said in reply to an RTI query filed by PTI.
The Ministry was asked to give details on hacking of income tax returns filing accounts of individuals and measures being taken by it to check such activities.
As many as 2.96 crore have filed income tax returns online during 2013-14, according to a data available on the website.
The Income Tax department is encouraging online filing of tax returns in order to digitise all tax payers related information.
CVC Pradeep Kumar requested the Supreme Court to allow him to withdraw from the coal scam cases as he had worked with the coal ministry as a joint secretary during 2003-06
Pradeep Kumar, the chief of Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has requested the Supreme Court to allow him to withdraw from coal scam case monitoring. Kumar along with two other vigilance commissioners was asked by the apex court to help in monitoring coal blocks allocation scam probe.
The Chief Vigilance Commissioner submitted before a Bench headed by Justice RM Lodha that he be allowed to withdraw from the cases as he had worked with the coal ministry as a joint secretary between 2003-06.
The apex court said that it would consider the plea made by CVC when the special bench, which is hearing coalgate cases, assembles.
The court had on 28th March sought assistance of CVC to examine all cases in coal blocks allocation scam in which there were divergent views between the investigating officer and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)’s head office on filing charge sheets.
It had asked CVC and two vigilance commissioners to give their suggestions whether the cases can be closed or CBI can go ahead with the filing of charge sheets in them.
The apex court had passed the order after it was informed that the agency had filed closure reports in two cases despite there being difference of opinion among CBI officials.
The CBI had informed the court that there were till date 20 such cases where officers had differed on what further action needed to be taken.
The court had directed the agency to place the documents of all 20 cases within five days before CVC for its perusal and the corruption watchdog was asked to file its report in four weeks.
It had said CVC, along with other two vigilance commissioners, will examine the documents and file their report in a sealed envelope on what should be done in those cases.
DIG Ravi Kant Sharma, who supervises the coal scam probe, along with other two officers of the same rank, had said that the investigating officer (IO) had opined to close one of the cases which was rejected by him but his officers approved the opinion of IO after which closure report was filed.
According to AIBEA, the largest bank employee union, what India needs is strengthening of public sector banks and not opening up banking sector to private players whose track record is also not appreciable
The All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) has objected the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)'s in-principal nod for new bank licences to IDFC and Kolkata-based Bandhan Financial Services Pvt Ltd.
"It is a matter of concern that despite protests, the Election Commission (EC) has given its approval to the RBI to go ahead with the process of new bank licenses and immediately the RBI has already given in principle permission to two companies to start their own private banks," said CH Venkatachalam, general secretary, AIBEA in a statement.
The bank employee union said its officer bearers will meet on 19th April in Punjab to decide upon the next course of action against RBI's decision.
Last week, the RBI gave its approval to IDFC and Bandhan Financial to start new banks following green signal from the EC. Affirming that the grant of new bank licences is a regulatory process and not political, RBI governor Raghuram Rajan had said the central bank sought the EC's nod only to shield the announcement from any political controversy.
The process to award new bank licences was initiated in 2011 and it has spilled over to the election season because the due diligence process took a little longer, Rajan said, adding, "All regulatory processes have to come to an end."
Mr Venkatachalam said, "It is strange that even though the Standing Committee on Finance consisting of all major political parties has unanimously given its recommendations against the banking licenses at this juncture, the RBI is going ahead in their anxiety to appease the corporates. What our country needs strengthening of public sector Banks and not opening up banking sector to private players whose track record is also not appreciable."