Question And Answer
Subject: Can the sufficiency or adequacy of reason to believe be challenged in a writ petition?
Category:  Uncategorized
Asked by: Roshan
Answered by:
Date: July 23, 2022
Query asked by Roshan

Various statutes use the terminology “reason to believe”? What does this expression mean and can it be challenged before the Courts?

Answer given by

The expression ‘reason to believe’ has been explained in various decisions by the Apex Court and High Courts while dealing with Sections 132 and 148 of the Act. It has been held that the word “reason to believe” means that a reasonable man, under the circumstances, would form a belief which will impel him to take action under the law. The formation of opinion has to be in good faith and not on mere pretence. For the purpose of Section 132 of the Act, there has to be a rational connection between the information or material and the belief about undisclosed income, which has not been and is not likely to be disclosed by the person concerned.

It is well settled by several judgements of the Supreme Court including the recent one in LALJIBHAI KANJIBHAI MANDALIA that it is open to the Court to examine the question whether “reasons to believe” have any rational connection or a relevant bearing to the formation of the belief and that such reasons are not extraneous or irrelevant as the officer has to produce relevant evidence to sustain his belief in case the reasons to believe are questioned in court. However, the jurisdiction of the High Court is to examine the existence of reasons not the legality of the same.

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