Information cannot be disclosed u/A 28 India-Singapore DTAA in absence of strong connection between requested information & India’s tax laws: Singapore HC

In a recent ruling, Singapore High Court held that information cannot be disclosed under Article 28 of India-Singapore Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement to Comptroller of Income Tax (Singapore) in absence of strong connection between requested information & India’s tax laws.
The Court said “There was also no evidence of any transaction between the Singapore Company and the Indian national. Accordingly, the request and the supporting evidence was not sufficiently clear and specific to say that the information requested would be “foreseeably relevant” to the enforcement of India’s tax laws and the ongoing investigations on the Indian national.
The tax authority in India seized documents from an Indian national and three other persons allegedly associated with him. The tax authority in India believed that the documents indicated the existence of undeclared incomes and of bank accounts in overseas jurisdictions. It therefore sent a request for information to the Comptroller of Income Tax (Singapore) relying on unsigned transfer instructions allegedly issued by the Indian national as evidence that the Indian national remitted monies to the Singapore Company’s bank accounts.

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