Wife Is Entitled To Access Information About The Remuneration Her Husband Is Getting: CIC - Synopsis
Karandeep Singh 21 Nov 2020

Wife Is Entitled To Access Information About The Remuneration Her Husband Is Getting: CIC

In Rahmat Bano v. CPIO, Income Tax[i], an appellant (Rahmat) filed an application before the Central Public Information Commissioner (CPIO) on 28.11.2018 seeking information about her husband’s income which was disposed off on 27.12.2018. She filed an appeal before the First Appellant Authority on 14.01.2019 which was disposed off on 25.01.2019 stating that information sought by the wife is personal information which cannot be disclosed as per Section 8(1)(j) of RTI Act. This leads her to file a second appeal before the Central Information Commission (CIC) on 25.02.2019 under Section 19(3) of RTI Act on the ground that information has not been provided to her and requested the commission to direct the respondent to provide complete and correct information.

Neeraj Kumar Gupta, an Information Commissioner of the commission, took note of the Madhya Pradesh High Court in Smt. Sunita Jain vs. Pawan Kumar Jain and others[ii] and Smt. Sunita Jain vs. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited and others[iii], where a wife had sought the salary details of her husband. In the said case, it was ruled that the wife was entitled to know that what remuneration her husband was getting. Commission also relied upon another judgment by the Bombay High Court in Rajesh Ramachandra Kidile vs. Maharashtra SIC and Ors[iv], where the Court ruled that a husband's salary details would no longer be confined to the category of personal information when the issue involved was of maintenance. In view of these rulings, the CIC has ruled that "Taking into consideration the aforementioned analysis and the judgments of the Higher Courts, the Commission directs the respondent to inform the appellant about the generic details of the net taxable income/gross income of her husband held and available with the Public Authority for the period 2017-2018, within a period of 15 working days from the date of receipt of this order." Hence, the wife was entitled to access information regarding her husband's net taxable income or gross income

[i] Second Appeal No. CIC/CCITJ/A/2019/10874

[ii] W.A. No. 168/2015

[iii] W.A. No. 170/2015

[iv] W.P. No. 1766 of 2016


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