Income Tax details of Ms. Sonia Gandhi not to be disclosed
The details of the Income Tax details returns of UPA Chairperson Ms. Sonia Gandhi from the year 2000-2001 to 2010-2011 were sought under the RTI Act. The Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax, New Delhi rejected the application without seeking any objection from Ms. Sonia Gandhi. On appeal, the First Appellate Authority (FAA) held that by not calling for an objection, the PIO has ignored the possibility of the third party expressing willingness for disclosure of personal Income Tax information. Thereafter, the PIO issued a notice to her as third party under Section 11 of the RTI Act seeking her response to the application. Ms. Sonia Gandhi claimed in her reply that disclosure of such private information would amount to unwarranted invasion of her privacy. The information submitted to the Income Tax department by an individual is confidential and private in nature and cannot be disclosed as per Section 138 of the Income Tax Act, 1961. She said that there was no public interest involved in disclosing such information and should not be disclosed. The PIO declined to disclose details of the Income Tax returns of Ms. Sonia Gandhi under the RTI Act, citing personal freedom and security risk.