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rtiindia posted a post in CIC DecisionsThe information about his wife income tax documents probing for the alleged income and expenditure during the wedding was denied under RTI. However, as his wife has filed FIR under section 498A/406 IPC, Delhi High court allowed access to the document considering that as the criminal proceeding filed by the wife is still pending and her cross-examination is not complete, the husband can cross examine her with regard to her income-tax returns and/or the husband can file an appropriate application for production of the relevant income tax records. The information sought by the Husband in reference to wife income tax documents regarding action taken report in reference to his letter was rejected on the ground that information sought is exempt under Section 8(1)(j) of the Right to Information Act, 2005 (for short ‘RTI Act, 2005’). The decision of the high court can be read from our wiki segment here! Wife income tax documents Learned counsel for the petitioner states that the information sought is crucial for the adjudication in the aforesaid criminal case pending against the petitioner. In support of his submissions, he relies upon the judgment of the Division Bench in Director of Income Tax (Investigation) and Anr. Vs. Bhagat Singh and Anr. in LPA No.1377/2007 decided on 17th December, 2007, wherein it has been held as under:- “………..It is for the appellant to show how and why investigation will be impeded by disclosing information to the appellant. General statements are not enough. Apprehension should be based on some ground or reason. Information has been sought for by the complainant and not the assessed. Nature of information is not such which interferes with the investigation or helps the assessed. Information may help the respondent No. 1 from absolving himself in the criminal trial. It appears that the appellant has held back information and delaying the proceedings for which the respondent No. 1 felt aggrieved and filed the aforesaid writ petition in this Court. We also find no reason as to why the aforesaid information should not be supplied to the respondent No. 1. In the grounds of appeal, it is stated that the appellant is ready and willing to disclose all the records once the same is summoned by the criminal court where proceedings under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code are pending. If that is the stand of the appellant, we find no reason as to why the aforesaid information cannot be furnished at this stage as the investigation process is not going to be hampered in any manner and particularly in view of the fact that such information is being furnished only after the investigation process is complete as far as Director of Income Tax (Investigation) is concerned. It has not been explained in what manner and how information asked for and directed will hamper the assessment proceedings.”
Central Information Commission taking recourse to the Delhi High Court Judgement, Union Of India And Ors vs Adarsh Sharma of 9 October, 2013 directed Information from Exempted Organisations to be given 'to an extent possible'. This was decided even though the Exempted organisation submitted that information was denied as per Section 24(1) of the RTI Act, were-in CRPF is exempted from the purview of the RTI Act, except when the information pertains to allegations of corruption and human rights violations. Information from Exempted Organisations Central Information Commission quoted the High Court Judgement as follows: However, the High Court of Delhi in W.P. © 7453/2011 dated 09.10.2013 (Union of Indian vs Adarsh Sharma) had held that: “5. …….if an information of the nature sought by the respondent is easily available with the Intelligence Bureau, the agency would be welladvised in assisting a citizen, by providing such an information, despite the fact that it cannot be accessed as a matter of right under the provisions of Right to Information Act………. ………………………… It is again made clear that information of this nature cannot be sought as a matter of right and it would be well within the discretion of the Intelligence Bureau whether to supply such information or not……...” The decision of the CIC can be read here! You can also read various Supreme Court and High Court Judgements at our wiki here http://www.righttoinformation.wiki.
In what could be a relief to thousands of RTI Activist and Information seekers, Kolkata high court has allowed use of post box in filing RTI which shall enable contact of a user with the authority without revealing personal details of the information seeker. You do not need to worry about your safety when Post Box is there. Also you do not need anybody else to file RTI on your behalf. DoPT in its circular dated 8th January 2014 has forwarded the circular to all ministries to allow the use of Post Box as a valid communication medium between an applicant and authority. The circular is available here! “41 Paisa per day, secure your privacy each day”, and avail the Post Box from India Post. In what could be a game changer there would be heavy demand for Post boxes across India to avail the near anonymous RTI filing. Post Box is available at Rs. 150/- per year on rent and any citizen can request to his nearest postmaster to avail this facility. Once you avail this facility, you address shall be only your name, PO Box number, Post Office Name and PIN code. Your real address shall be hidden and authorities cannot verify the address of yours, though they can communicate to you easily. Section 6 (2) of the RTI Act states that: "(2) An applicant making request for information shall not be required to give any reason for requesting the information or any other personal details except those that may be necessary for contacting him." RTI Activist safety at only 41 Paisa High court of Kolkata stated that "when the legislature thought it fit, the applicant need not disclose any personal details, the authority should not insist upon his detailed whereabouts, particularly when Post Box number is provided for that would establish contact with him and the authority." The High court asked Secretary DOPT to circulate this to all concerned and to take appropriate measure to hide information with regards to personal details of the Activist to avoid any harassment by the person having vested interest. We have a detailed article on Post Box which shall clarify all the doubts about using it at our sister portal nationalconcerns.com here: What is Post Box? Kindly download the article here and spread this information: Here is the direct link to downloading the article.
1. In a landmark decision, Delhi High Court has quashed the practice of summary disposal of complaints by remanding the matter to First Appellate Authoity/ CPIO, without even hearing the complainant or deciding the complaint on merits 2. It is learnt that nearly 8600 matters have been summarily disposed by the CIC in recent years out of which more than 4000 have been disposed off by Information Commissioner Sushma Singh. As regards, the grievance expressed by the petitioner that the Commission, despite its attention being drawn to the above referred decision of the Apex Court continues, while considering a complaint under Section 18 of the Act, to direct the concerned CPIO to provide information instead of deciding the complaint on merits, it is expected that the Commission henceforth will decide the complaints on merits instead of directing the CPIO to provide the information which the complainant had sought. Of course, it would be open to the Commission to give such a direction while entertaining a second appeal under Sub-section (3) of Section 19 of the Act. Full judgment is attached to this post, which can be downloaded from our Download section at RTI INDIA along with other court relevant court judgements here! Delhi High Court order quashing summary disposal of complaints by CIC.pdf