Monday, 29 May 2017

Whether husband can obtain information about salary of wife under right to information Act?


The case of the petitioner before this Court is that
her husband (respondent No. 8) is seeking personal information
of the petitioner under Right to Information Act, 2005 (in short
“RTI Act”), and these information are being given to him by the
concerned authority. The contention of the petitioner before
this Court is that the information sought by her husband are
not covered under the RTI Act, as the information being sought
are relating to her salary, posting etc., which are personal in
nature.
Perused the information sought by the informant
from the department. The information sought are as to how
many teachers are working. The salary being given to the
petitioner etc. These information do not appear to be private in
nature in any manner nor are they exempted under the RTI
Act. Nothing has been shown by the petitioner, which may 
suggests that the information sought by the respondent,
relating to the petitioner, is covered under Section 8(1)(j) of RTI
Act.
IN THE HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND AT NAINITAL
Writ Petition (M/S) No. 2489 of 2016
Jasmeet Kaur.
Vs
State of Uttarakhand & others.

Hon’ble Sudhanshu Dhulia, J.
Citation: AIR 2017 UTTAR 1

1. The case of the petitioner before this Court is that
her husband (respondent No. 8) is seeking personal information
of the petitioner under Right to Information Act, 2005 (in short
“RTI Act”), and these information are being given to him by the
concerned authority. The contention of the petitioner before
this Court is that the information sought by her husband are
not covered under the RTI Act, as the information being sought
are relating to her salary, posting etc., which are personal in
nature.
2. Petitioner is a teacher in a Government Primary
School in Udham Singh Nagar. She was married to respondent
No. 8 in the year 2005 out of this wedlock was born a child but
later her relation with her husband got strained. She is living
separately and alleged cruelty, torture and demand of dowry at
the hand of her husband and in-laws.
3. Heard Mr. Mani Kumar, learned counsel for the
petitioner, Mr. P.C. Bisht, learned Standing Counsel for the
State of Uttarakhand and perused the records.
4. Perused the information sought by the informant
from the department. The information sought are as to how
many teachers are working. The salary being given to the
petitioner etc. These information do not appear to be private in
nature in any manner nor are they exempted under the RTI
Act. Nothing has been shown by the petitioner, which may 
suggests that the information sought by the respondent,
relating to the petitioner, is covered under Section 8(1)(j) of RTI
Act. Under the RTI Act, the ‘information’ has been defined
under Section 2 (f) of the RTI Act, which reads as under:-
“‘information’ means any material in any form,
including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions,
advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks,
contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material
held in any electronic form and information relating to any
private body which can be accessed by a public authority
under any other law for the time being in force.”
5. A bare perusal of the aforesaid definition shows that
the ‘information’ has been widely defined. On a request these
information have to be supplied to the persons seeking such an
information by a public authority. The ‘public authority’ has
also defined under Section 2(h) of the RTI Act, which reads as
under:-
“‘public authority’ means any authority or body or
institution of self-government established or constituted:-
(a) by or under the Constitution;
(b) by any other law made by Parliament;
(c) by any other law made by State Legislature;
(d) by notification issued or order made by the
appropriate Government, and includes any-
(i) body owned, controlled or substantially
financed;
(ii) non-Government Organisation
substantially financed,
directly or indirectly by funds provided by the
appropriate Government.”
6. It cannot be anybodies case that a Government
authority in Government schools does not come under the
definition of ‘public authority’. The only exception as to the
information is given under the Act under Section 8 of the RTI 3
Act, which is an exemption from disclosure of information.
Section 8 of the RTI Act reads as under:-
“8. Exemption from disclosure of information- (1)
Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there
shall be no obligation to give any citizen-
(a) information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect
the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security,
strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State,
relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an
offence;
(b) information which has been expressly forbidden to be
published by any court of law or tribunal or the disclosure
of which may constitute contempt of court;
(c) information, the disclosure of which would cause a breach
of privilege of Parliament or the State Legislature;
(d) information including commercial confidence, trade
secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which
would harm the competitive position of a third party,
unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger
public interest warrants the disclosure of such
information;
(e) information available to a person in his fiduciary
relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied
that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of
such information;
(f) information received in confidence from foreign
government;
(g) information, the disclosure of which would endanger the
life or physical safety of any person or identify the source
of information or assistance given in confidence for law
enforcement or security purposes;
(h) information which would impede the process of
investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders;
(i) cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the
Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers:
Provided that the decisions of Council of Ministers, the
reasons thereof, and the material on the basis of which
the decisions were taken shall be made public after the
decision has been taken, and the matter is complete, or
over: Provided further that those matters which come
under the exemptions specified in this section shall not be
disclosed;
(j) information which relates to personal information the
disclosure of which has not relationship to any public
activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted
invasion of the privacy of the individual unless the Central
Public Information Officer or the State Public Information
Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, is
satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the
disclosure of such information: Provided that the 4
information, which cannot be denied to the Parliament or
a State Legislature shall not be denied to any person.
(2) Notwithstanding anything in the Official Secrets Act, 1923
(19 of 1923) nor any of the exemptions permissible in
accordance with sub-section (1), a public authority may
allow access to information, if public interest in disclosure
outweighs the harm to the protected interests.
(3) Subject to the provisions of clauses (a), (c) and (i) of
sub-section (1), any information relating to any
occurrence, event or matter which has taken place,
occurred or happened twenty years before the date on
which any request is made under section 6 shall be
provided to any person making a request under that
section:
Provided that where any question arises as to the date
from which the said period of twenty years has to be
computed, the decision of the Central Government shall
be final, subject to the usual appeals provided for in this
Act.”
7. We have already seen the nature of information
sought by respondent No. 8 (husband of the petitioner) and it is
not covered under any of the exemption given under Section 8
of the RTI Act.
8. In view thereof, no interference can be made in the
present writ petition. The writ petition is totally misconceived
and is hereby dismissed.
(Sudhanshu Dhulia, J.)
07.09.2016

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