An RTI applicant which sought information RTI on Rotomac Pvt Ltd, the amount of income tax paid by them since establishment and related issues was shot down by CIC on the premises that disclosure by a person in his Income Tax Returns are ‘personal information’ which stands exempt from disclosure u/s 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act.
However, application went through 4 PIO's before the final PIO decided to shot down the applicant which sought RTI on Rotomac.
CPIO, o/o CIT(CCA) Kanpur vide letter dt 6.5.13, transferred the RTI to Commissioner, IT-2 , Kanpur, who vide letter dt 9.5.13, transferred it to CPIO, o/o Addl CIT, Range 6, Kanpur. Vide letter dt 14.5.13, the RTI was transferred to ACIT- VI, Kanpur for providing a response to the appellant directly. CPIO/ACIT-VI vide letter dt 4.6.13, informed appellant that in terms of the order of the Supreme Court in the case of Girish Ramchandra Deshpande, the information sought is not in wider public interest and hence the same was denied. The Commission concurs with the decision of the public authority in denying the information u/s 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act in the light of the decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Girish Ramchandra Deshpande.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Girish Ramchandra Deshpande has held that details disclosed by a person in his Income Tax Returns are ‘personal information’ which stands exempt from disclosure u/s 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act unless it involves larger public interest and the CPIO or the AA is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information.”
The information seeker had not applied the Public Interest clause in his application where in when personal information in respect of a person is sought, the authority concerned shall weigh the competing claims i.e., the claim for the protection of personal information of the concerned person on the one hand, and the claim of public interest on the other, and if “public interest” justifies disclosure, i.e., the public interest outweighs the need for protection of personal information, the concerned authority shall disclose the information.
The court has earlier said that a querist may seek from the income tax authorities- the details of the income tax returns filed by private individual/juristic entity – if the querist can justify the disclosure of such personal information on the anvil of public interest.
ROTOMAC GLOBAL PRIVATE LIMITED, formerly Rotomac Pens Private Limited belonging to VIKRAM KOTHARI ENTERPRISES, was incorporated in the year 1992. The project was conceived with an objective to provide good quality and economically priced ball pens. Soon, the Company set up world-class integrated production facilities to manufacture and supply writing instruments which made this relatively new entrant into a well known brand in a very short span of time. With a strong customer base, today Rotomac is one of the leading manufacturer and exporter of a diversified range of ball pens.
Central Information Commissioner
File No.CIC/RM/A/2013/001054, 03.01.2014
Shri Amit Bajpai, Kanpur
ACIT-VI and Addl. CIT, Range-6, Kanpur
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