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TN: TNSIC says salary and perk details deniable under Sec 8(1)(j)

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Attached is an order of the TNSIC dated 26 Dec 2013 wherein it has ruled that Salary, perks and other details of a Judge are deniable under Sec 8(1)(j).


Posters NOTE:


Maybe the SIC forgot to read Sec 4(1)(b)(x):


(x) the monthly remuneration received by each of its officers and employees, including the system of compensation as provided in its regulations;

Page 1 TNSIC Judges salaries perks.pdf

Page 2 TNSIC Judges salaries perks.pdf

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Treating the details of salary and other perquisites given to the Chief Justice and other Judges of Madras High Court as “personal information”, the State Information Commission (SIC) has rejected an activist's plea to furnish such information.

“Those details are protected information and there is also no demonstrable ‘public interest’ justifying the disclosure of the information in this case”, said State Chief Information Commissioner, K.S.Sripathi and Information Commissioner S.F.Akbar, dismissing an appeal filed by V. Gopalakrishnan of M.G.R.Nagar here.

Mr. Gopalakrishnan filed an application with the Public Information Officer (PIO), Madras High Court, seeking to furnish information under the Right to Information Act. He also sought information relating to the copy of salary main bill submitted in respect of the Chief Justice and other judges of Madras High Court for last two years. He also sought details of allowances and the value of perquisites availed/ paid and also of exemptions available to them under Income Tax Act.

However, the PIO rejected his request. The First Appellate Authority of the Madras High Court also upheld the order passed by the PIO. Hence, Mr.Gopalakrishnan preferred the appeal.

Dismissing his appeal, the Commission said, “A close consideration of the information sought for by the appellant would reveal that such information fit in the description of personal information within the meaning of Section of 8(1) (j) of RTI Act.”

(As per Section of 8(1) (j), the disclosure of personal information which has no relationship to public interest and which would invade privacy, need not be given)

However, Mr.Gopalakrishnan said as per section 4(1)(b)(x) of RTI Act, any public authority should publish such information within 120 days of RTI Act which came into effect in 2005. So, the present decision of State Information Commission is not right. Hence, I will prefer an appeal against this order at an appropriate forum.”

(The Hindu dated 03-01-2014)

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