Are the details of income and assets of a person liable to be disclosed to his wife?
The appellant’s divorce proceedings were in process and the issue of and maintenance to be given by her husband was to be decided. In this relation she filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Income Tax (IT) seeking information regarding her husband’s monthly salary details, personal assets/ property details, Bank investments/savings and other sources of income. The Public Information Officer (PIO) informed the appellant that the third party had objected to disclosure of information stating that it was personal information and that litigation was pending between him and his wife and as such disclosure of information was being sought with intention to harm him. The PIO denied the information under section 8(1)(e) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information; and section 8(1)(j) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual unless the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information: Provided that the information which cannot be denied to the Parliament or a State Legislature shall not be denied to any person. of the RTI Act stating that the information was held by the department in fiduciary capacity and was personal in nature.
During the hearing the before Central Information Commission (CIC), the PIO referred to an earlier decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Girish Ramchandra Deshpande, to support his contentions. (Link - http://www.rtifoundationofindia.com/dopt/SCDecision.pdf) The appellant submitted that the matter regarding finalization of her maintenance was pending in a court of law and she wanted to know the financial status of her husband.
View of CIC
The Commission accepted the contentions of the PIO and rejected the appeal.
Citation: Ms. Sunita Rawat v. ITO, Ward-48(2) & Addl. Commissioner of IT in File No. CIC/DS/A/2012/000048/RM
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1258
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission