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Ensure Newslaundry’s Data Is Not Leaked: Delhi High Court Tells Income Tax Department Following Survey & Seizure

[17 September 2021]
The Delhi High Court asked the Income Tax Department to seek instructions on a petition filed by news portal Newslaundry and it’s CEO Abhinandan Sekhri, apprehending leakage of the data seized during a recent IT survey in their office.In the plea filed through Advocate Nipun Katyal, it has been stated by the petitioners that they apprehend their private data, having no incriminating or relevant material for the purposes of Income Tax or any other legal proceedings, may be misused, leaked or illegally released in public domain. “This apprehension is well founded since the Respondent did not give the hash value of the data after seizing it (which they were not entitled to do in a survey under Section 133A of the Income Tax Act, 1961 ). Therefore, the Petitioners humbly submit, it is most imperative that this Hon’ble Court safeguards and preserves the right of privacy of the Petitioners and further prevents the Respondent from causing deliberate harassment by conducting repeated searches and surveys,” the plea reads. Justice Manmohan and Justice Navin Chawla granted time to the Income Tax Department to seek instructions while posting the matter for further hearing on September 21. “Normally, nobody’s data should be leaked. It’s contrary to public interest. It’s ethically and morally wrong,” the Court remarked at the outset.

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