CIC: Details like income tax returns, moveable and immovable property qualifies to be “personal information” as defined in Section 8(1)(j); not to be disclosed unless the disclosure of the information was justified in larger public interest
Information sought:- The appellant has sought the following information:-
1. In which year, on which designation and on what eligibility criteria was Sh. K N Vaishya SDE (Trans.) II Aligarh appointed in this department and details of his tenure and posting in transmission wing.
2. When was Sh. K N Vaishya SDE (Trans.) II Aligarh promoted on the post of JTO in the department and the details of the duration of the period where he worked as JTO.
3. Provide the copies of the TA Bills prepared by Sh. K N Vaishya SDE (Trans.) II Aligarh in the year 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10.
4. Provide the copy of the ruling for an employee working at the same place.
5. Provide the details of the moveable/immoveable assets given by Sh. K N Vaishya SDE (Trans.) II Aligarh at the time of joining.
6. Provide the details of the moveable/immoveable assets given by Sh. K N Vaishya SDE (Trans.) II Aligarh from the time of joining to till now.
7. Provide the details of the IT Returns submitted by Sh. K N Vaishya SDE (Trans.) II Aligarh till date.
8. Provide the certified copy of the service book of Sh. K N Vaishya SDE (Trans.) II Aligarh.
Grounds for the Second Appeal: The CPIO has not provided the desired information.
Relevant Facts emerging during Hearing: The following were present
Appellant: Mr. Sardar Singh through VC
Respondent: Mr. Jugendra Singh CPIO through VC
The CPIO stated that the information sought by the appellant under para 1 to 4 of his RTI application dated 20/01/2010 has been provided vide letter dated 19/02/2010 while that sought under para 5, 6, 7 & 8 is exempt from disclosure to third party under 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 being information of personal nature. In support of his contention he quoted the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s decision dated 03/10/2012 in Girish Ramchandra Desphande’s matter. The appellant argued that his RTI application pertains to the year 2010 whereas the Supreme Court judgment was pronounced much later.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court vide decision dated 03/10/2012 Girish Ramchandra Deshpande vs. CIC & others [SLP (Civil) No.27734 of 2012] has held that the details like income tax returns, moveable and immovable property qualifies to be “personal information” as defined in clause (j) of Section 8(1) of the RTI Act and need not be disclosed unless the petitioner is able to demonstrate that the information sought for is for larger public purpose. The appellant’s argument that his RTI application is of prior date is without merit in the light of the dicta aforesaid of the Supreme Court which is binding on this bench. The Hon’ble Bombay High Court, following the aforesaid ruling, vide its decision dated 22/08/2013 (WP No. 1825 of 2013 Subhash Bajirao Khemnar vs. Shri Dilip Nayku Thorat & Others) has held “that the Chief Information Commissioner was not justified in directing theInformation Officer to supply personal information in respect of the service record, income tax returns and assets of the petitioner unless the Commissioner was satisfied that the disclosure of the information was justified in larger public interest.” In the matter at hand the appellant has not established that the information sought is for larger public purpose. Hence, we find no grounds to interfere with the decision of the respondent. The matter is closed.
Citation: Mr. Sardar Singh v. BSNL in File No. CIC/LS/A/2011/000727/BS/6050