Can the information sought by one’s spouse be treated as third party information?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Income Tax (IT) Department seeking information about her husband such as the details of source of income declared by him, deductions like housing loans, LIC etc. claimed by him. The appellant also wanted to know the certified copies of the ITRs filed by him for the said years. The Public Information Officer (PIO) refused to disclose the information on the basis of objection filed by the appellant’s husband.
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The Central Information Commission (CIC) observed that a wife cannot be treated as third party in the strict sense of the term, so long as the marriage subsists, however after divorce, the legal position changes. The Commission ruled that marriage still subsists between the appellant and her husband, hence it would not be correct to deny information on the ground that the appellant is a third party. The CIC directed the PIO to provide the gross income and net taxable income declared by the appellant’s husband in the last ITR filed by him.
As per the section 2(n) “third party” means a person other than the citizen making a request for information and includes a public authority. of the RTI Act, “third party'' means a person other than the citizen making a request for information and includes a public authority. Therefore, in the opinion of this site, even a wife is covered under the definition of a third party, irrespective of whether the marriage is in existence or not.
Citation: Ms. Juhi Jadli v. Income-tax Department in File No: CIC/RM/A/2012/000038/LS
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1428
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