Govt sets up committee to probe tax-related criminal offences

New Delhi: The government on Monday announced setting up of a special wing — Directorate of Income Tax (Criminal Investigation) — to investigate criminal offences under direct tax laws.

The DCI, to be set up with immediate effect, would collect information about persons and transactions connected with criminal activities and initiate prosecution proceedings against them.

"The DCI will perform functions in respect to criminal matters having any financial implication punishable as an offence under any direct tax law," the Finance Ministry said.

The DCI, to be a part of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), will seek and collect information about persons and transactions suspected to be connected with criminal activities "having cross-border, inter-state or international ramifications, that pose a threat to national security and are punishable under the direct tax laws".

The directorate will also investigate the source and use of funds involved in such criminal activities and file prosecution complaint in competent courts.

The announcement comes amid threat by Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev to launch hunger strike from June 4 on the issue of black money.

Concerned over the growing menace of black money, the government has commissioned an in-depth study to quantify unaccounted income and wealth stashed within and outside the country in 16 months.