Supreme Court Directs Reward Committee to Reconsider Tax Evasion Informer’s Reward

The Supreme Court recently directed the reward committee constituted by the Ministry of Finance under the “Reward to Informers” policy to take a fresh decision on the amount of reward awarded to a person who gave information regarding the tax evasion by news agency M/s ANI Media Pvt Ltd.


  • The appellant provided information about the service tax evasion of Rs. 2.59 crores by M/s Asian News International (ANI) Media Pvt Ltd.
  • The appellant claimed that he is entitled to a reward of Rs.51.80 Lakhs based on clause 4.1 of the policy.
  • The Reward Committee sanctioned a final reward of Rs.5.50 Lakhs to the appellant.

Legal Proceedings

  • The appellant filed a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution before the Bombay High Court in 2015.
  • The Bombay High Court held that the writ petition involved disputed questions of fact and advised the appellant to file a civil suit.
  • The appellant approached the Supreme Court challenging the High Court’s decision.

Supreme Court’s Analysis

  • The Supreme Court held that the reward committee did not apply its mind while granting the reward.
  • The court emphasized that a decision-making authority must provide well-founded reasons for reaching a particular conclusion.
  • The bench observed that the minutes of the committee’s meeting showed a complete non-application of mind.
  • The Court allowed the appeal partly and directed the committee to reconsider the case and determine if a higher amount is payable to the appellant.

Court’s Directive

  • The Court directed the committee to take a decision within 6 months.
  • The committee must consider if the appellant is entitled to an amount more than the already given reward based on the Policy’s provisions.

ANI Media Pvt Ltd, the news agency involved in the tax evasion case, responded to the report via a tweet but the details of their statement were not disclosed.

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