Are HRA benefits and Form 16 of employees liable to be disclosed under RTI?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Canara Bank seeking information regarding the House Rent Allowance (HRA) benefits and Form 16 of a particular employee of the bank. The Public Information Officer (PIO) provided some information to the appellant.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the appellant submitted that the employee for whom the information had been sought lived in his parent's house but had claimed HRA illegally. The appellant also stated that the information that he was seeking would prove his point. The respondent stated that the HRA is part of the emoluments that an official of the rank of a clerk would not have got irrespective of where he is staying. The appellant argued that if the bank has the attendance sheet of the same year for which he is seeking the HRA, it is strange that the HRA details have been destroyed. The respondent informed that it is by chance that the attendance sheet is available but reiterated that the HRA details of that period would not be available. On the submission of the appellant that if the record has been destroyed, the public authority would have information pertaining to the record destruction, the respondent stated that they do not have sufficient information to comment on this aspect.
View of CIC
The Commission directed respondent to provide to the appellant whatever information is available.
As per the prescribed procedure for the destruction of records, a destruction memo or similar document is maintained signifying that the actual destruction has taken place. Every public authority should keep a record of the such a document.
Citation: Mr. N.N. Puri v. Canara Bank in Decision No. CIC/SM/A/2011/001774/VS/02023
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1047
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission