Are the details of income tax exemption availed by a school liable for disclosure?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Income Tax (IT) Department seeking copies of the order passed under section 10(23) of the IT Act on the basis of which schools were granted exemption in income tax. The appellant also wanted to know about the exemption availed by Sophia Secondary School, Hissar, ever since its existence and information regarding the buses possessed by the said school. The Public Information Officer (PIO) informed the appellant that information regarding exemption granted to schools cannot be provided as he had not mentioned the name of any school regarding which he was seeking this information. Regarding the exemption availed by Sophia Secondary School, Hissar the PIO denied the information stating that it is personal information relating to the School in question. Regarding the buses possessed by the said school, the PIO stated that these points did not concern the IT Department and were transferred to the RTO.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) observed that the said school has availed exemption from the Income tax under the provisions of the IT Act and this undeniably has impacted the revenues of the Central Government. This information cannot be said to be personal information pertaining to the school. The CIC directed the PIO to disclose the amount of exemption availed by the school without furnishing the copies of ITRs.
Citation: Mr. Jai Sing v. Income Tax Department in File No: CIC/RM/A/2012/000267/LS
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1406
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission