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Income can't be disclosed underneath RTI

CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
2nd Floor, C-Wing, Aug Kranti Bhawan
Bhikaji Cama Place, New Delhi -110066
Tel: 011 – 26182597, 26182598
Email: kl.das@nic.in

Appeal No.:- CIC/BS/A/2016/000800-BJ

Appellant : Mr. D. Nagendra Prasad
H. No. HIG-67, 9th Phase, KPHB Colony, Near Park
Kukatpally, Hyderabad-500085

Respondent : i) CPIO & Income Tax Officer, Ward-6 (5), we T
Towers, 7th Floor, A.C. Guards,
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh

ii) CPIO & Dy. Commissioner of Income Tax,
Circle-6(1)
IT Towers, 7th Floor, A C Guards, Hyderabad
Andhra Pradesh

Date of Hearing : 10.04.2017
Date of Decision : 10.04.2017

Date of filing of RTI focus 21.09.2015
CPIO’s response 28.09.2015 and 28.10.2015
Date of filing a First Appeal 27.10.2015
First Appellate Authority’s response 30.10.2015
Date of diarised receipt of second seductiveness by 18.03.2016
the Commission

ORDER

FACTS:

The Appellant vide his RTI focus sought information on 9 points per Income Tax on Capital Gain fitting by one Mr. D. Ramachandra Rao by offered land and residence and issues associated thereto.

The Dy. Commissioner of Income Tax, Circle 6 (1), Hyderabad vide a minute antiquated 28.09.2015, eliminated a RTI focus under Section 6(3) of a RTI Act, 2005 to a ITO, Ward 6 (5), Hyderabad. Dissatisfied on not receiving any acceptable response, a Appellant approached a FAA. Subsequently, a ITO, Ward 6 (5), vide a minute antiquated 28.10.2015 denied avowal of information as per section 8 (1)(j) of the RTI Act, 2005 saying that avowal would means uncalled-for advance to a remoteness of a endangered assessee and no incomparable open seductiveness was endangered that would clear in acceding to a ask of the Appellant. The FAA, vide a sequence antiquated 30.10.2015, supposing a duplicate of a response of a CPIO antiquated 28.10.2015 and also settled that a information was lonesome under Section 8(1)(e) of a RTI Act, 2005 and a same could not be disclosed unless incomparable open seductiveness warrants such disclosure.

HEARING:

Facts rising during a hearing:

The following were present:

Appellant : Mr. D. Nagendra Prasad (M: 9581778748) by VC; Respondent : Mr. D. Madhu, ITO Ward 6(5) (M: 8985970514) by VC;

The Appellant reiterated a essence of his RTI focus and settled that no information has been supposing to him, compartment date. It was serve settled that a CPIO vide a minute antiquated 28.10.2015 had denied avowal of information under Section 8(1)(j) of a RTI Act,2005 and a FAA vide a sequence antiquated 30.10.2015 denied a information under Section 8(1)(e) of a RTI Act,2005. The Respondent submitted that a third celebration agree was sought as per a sustenance of Section 11 of a RTI Act, 2005 whereby a endangered Third Party vide a minute antiquated 27.10.2015 denied disclosing a personal information. The Appellant settled that a FAA vide another minute sequence antiquated 17.12.2015 denied avowal of information, support a respond of a CPIO. At this stage, any of a drift mentioned by a Appellant were examined, analyzed and addressed by a FAA. The Appellant explained that a ITR sum of a endangered celebration was sought as a matter was associated to Revenue to a Government towards Capital Gains Tax. In a Second Appeal filed by a Appellant, by a several annexures he had upheld a need for information and rebutted a drift relied on by a CPIO/FAA for rejection of information. The Respondent submitted that documents/evidences regarding to a pronounced matter could be filed by a Appellant in a IT Department and due required movement would be undertaken in suitability with a supplies of the IT Act, 1961 though a ITR sum of a endangered third celebration as sought by a Appellant in his RTI focus could not be disclosed underneath the RTI Act, 2005.

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The FAA referred to a visualisation of a Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Girish Ramchandra Deshpande vs. Central Information Commission & ors. SLP(C) No. 27734 of 2012 antiquated 03/10/2012 wherein it was hold as under:

“14. The sum disclosed by a chairman in his income taxation earnings are “personal information” that mount exempted from avowal underneath proviso (j) of Section 8(1) of a RTI Act, unless involves a incomparable open seductiveness and a Central Public Information Officer or a State Public Information Officer or a Appellate Authority is confident that a incomparable open seductiveness justifies a avowal of such information.”

Also The Hon’ble High Court in a preference antiquated 13/07/2012 (W.P. (C) No. 1243 of 2011- UPSC vs. R.K. Jain) wherein while deliberating on a emanate of avowal of information in incomparable open seductiveness a Hon’ble High Court of Delhi had hold as under:

“20. The tenure “personal information” under section 8(1)(j) does not meant information relating to a information seeker, or a open authority, though about a third party. The territory exempts from avowal personal information, including that that would means “unwarranted advance of a remoteness of a individual”. If one were to find information about himself, a doubt of advance of his possess remoteness would not arise. It would usually arise where a information sought relates to a third party. Consequently, a grant under Section 8(1)(j) is as regards third celebration personal information only.

37….. In light of a above discussion, a following beliefs emerge for a grant under Section 8(1)(j) to request (i) The information sought contingency describe to “Personal information‟ as accepted above of a third party. Therefore, if a information sought does not validate as personal information, a grant would not apply; (ii) Such personal information should describe to a third person, i.e., a chairman other than a information seeker or a open authority”

The FAA also referred to Hon’ble Supreme Court preference in Khanapuram Gandaiah vs Administrative Officer & Ors SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CIVIL) NO.34868 OF 2009 ( Decided on 4 January, 2010) wherein it was hold as under:

“7. Moreover, in a present case, a postulant submitted his focus under Section 6 of a RTI Act before a Administrative Officer-cum- Assistant State Public Information Officer seeking information in honour of a questions lifted in his application. However, a Public Information Officer is not ostensible to have any element that is not before him; or any information he could have performed underneath law. Under Section 6 of a RTI Act, an applicant is entitled to get usually such information that can be accessed by a “public authority” underneath any other law for a time being in force. The answers sought by a postulant in a focus could not have been with a open management nor could he have had entrance to this information and Respondent No. 4 was not thankful to give any reasons as to because he had taken such a preference in a matter that was before him. A decider can't be approaching to give reasons other than those that have been enumerated in a visualisation or order. The focus filed by a postulant before a open management is per se bootleg and unwarranted. A legal officer is entitled to get insurance and a intent of a same is not to strengthen antagonistic or hurtful judges, though to strengthen a open from a dangers to that a administration of probity would be unprotected if a endangered legal officers were theme to exploration as to malice, or to lawsuit with those whom their decisions competence offend. If anything is finished discordant to this, it would positively impact a autonomy of a judiciary. A decider should be giveaway to make eccentric decisions.”

The Appellant was not means to competition a submissions of a Respondent or to settle a incomparable open seductiveness in avowal that outweighs a mistreat to a stable interests.

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The Commission drew anxiety to a preference of CIC in Milap Choraria v. CBDT CIC/AT/A/2008/000628 dated 15.06.2009 can be cited wherein it had been hold as under:

“15. From a above discussion, it would seem that a Income Tax Returns have been righteously hold to be ‘personal information’ exempted from avowal underneath proviso (j) of section 8(1) of RTI Act by a CPIO and a Appellate Authority; and a appellant herein has not been means to settle that a incomparable open seductiveness would be served by avowal of this information.”

The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi in a preference of Naresh Kumar Trehan v. Rakesh Kumar Gupta in W.P.(C) 85/2010 & CM Nos.156/2010 & 5560/2011 antiquated 24.11.2014 had celebrated as under:

“25. Indisputably, Section 8(1)(j) of a Act would be germane to a information regarding to Dr Naresh Trehan (petitioner in W.P.(C) 88/2010) and a information contained in a income taxation earnings would be personal information under Section 8(1)(j) of a Act. However, a CIC destined avowal of information of Dr Trehan also by final that income taxation earnings and information supposing for comment was in propinquity to a “public activity.” In my view, this is unconditionally erring and unmerited. The act of filing earnings with a dialect can't be construed as open activity. The countenance “public activity” would meant activities of a open inlet and not indispensably act finished in correspondence of a statute. The countenance “public activity” would imply activity finished for a open and/or in some demeanour accessible for appearance by open or some territory of public. There is no open activity endangered in filing a lapse or an particular posterior his comment with a income taxation authorities. In this view, a information relating to particular assessee could not be disclosed. Unless, a CIC hold that a same was fit “in a incomparable open interest”

Furthermore, The Hon’ble High Court of Bombay in a preference of Shailesh Gandhi v. CIC and Ors WP 8753 of 2013 antiquated 06.05.2015 had hold as underneath “16……the pronounced row is entirely misconceived as filing of Income Tax Returns can be no widen of imagination be pronounced to be a open activity, though is an requirement that a citizen owes to a State viz. to compensate his taxes and sincethesaidinformation is hold by a Income Tax Department in a fiduciary c apacity, a same can't be destined to be suggested unless a prerequisites for a same are satisfied.

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23………..Since a right to remoteness has been recognized as a elemental 8 to that a citizen is entitled to, therefore unless a conditions mentioned in Section 8 (1) (j) is satisfied, a information can't be provided.”

DECISION Keeping in light a contribution of a box and submissions done by both a parties and in light of a afore-mentioned judgments, no serve involvement of a Commission is fitting in this matter.

The Appeal stands likely accordingly.

(Bimal Julka) Information Commissioner Authenticated True Copy:

(K.L.Das) Deputy Registrar

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