Wife Can Seek Information About Husband’s Income Under Right to Information: CIC

Information Commissioner Neeraj Kumar Gupta has partly allowed a wife’s appeal, seeking information about her husband’s income under the Right to Information Act, 2005. The Income Tax Authority has been directed by the Central Information Commission to provide the Appellant with ‘generic details’ of the net income of her husband.

The Commission relied on Madhya Pradesh High Court’s order in Sunita Jain v. Pawan Kumar Jain & Ors., where it was held that a wife is entitled to know what remuneration her husband is getting. The Commission however denied Appellant’s request seeking photocopies of income-tax returns filed by her husband.

The High Court’s order was different from the general one passed by the SC in Girish Ramchandra Deshpande v. CIC & Ors., whereby it was pronounced that details disclosed by a person in his income tax returns are “personal information” which stand exempted from disclosure under clause (j) of Section 8(1) of the RTI Act, unless involves a larger public interest.

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