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RTI >> Judgments >> High Court >> Exemption >> Personal Information
Supreme Court(Personal Information)/ CIC(Personal Information)
S.No. HIGH COURT CASE DATE OF JUDGMENT JUDGMENT
1 Writ Petition No.1766 of 2016 (High Court of Bombay)
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22 Oct, 2018 Rajesh Ramchandra Kidile Vs. The Maharashtra State Information Commission Bench at Nagpur and others

Information sought
Shri J.R. Kidilay, learned counsel for the petitioner submits that the information as sought for which is regarding supply of salary slips of the petitioner for the period from 1st April 2012 till 31st December 2014 relate to personal information of the petitioner and, therefore, as held by the Hon'ble Apex Court in the case of Girish Ramchandra Deshpande vs. Cen. Information Commr. and others, reported in AIR 2012 SC (Supp) 690, personal information cannot be disclosed under the provisions of the Right to Information Act (22 of 2005) (in short, “RI Act”).

Decision of High Court
Perusal of this application shows that the salary slips for the period mentioned in the application have been sought for by the Advocate. As rightly submitted by the learned counsel for the petitioner, the salary slips contain such details as deductions made from the salary, remittances made to the Bank by way of loan installments, remittances made to the Income Tax Authority towards part payment of the Income Tax for the concerned month and other details relating to contributions made to Provident Fund etc. It is here that the information contained in the salary slips would make the salary slips as having the characteristic of personal nature. Any information which discloses, as for example, remittances made to the Income Tax Department towards discharge of tax liability or to the Bank towards discharge of loan liability would constitute the personal information and would encroach upon the privacy of the person. Therefore, as held by the Hon'ble Apex Court in the case of Girish Ramchandra Deshpande (supra), such an information could not be disclosed under the provisions of the RI Act. This is all the more so when the information seeker is a person who is totally stranger in blood or marital relationship to the person whose information he wants to lay his hands on. It would have been a different matter, had the information been sought by the wife of the petitioner in order to support her contention in a litigation, which she has filed against her husband. In a litigation, wherein the issue involved is of maintenance of wife, the information relating to salary details no longer remains confined to the category of personal information of the husband alone and it assumes the characteristic of personal information concerning both husband and wife, which is available with the husband and hence accessible by the wife. But, in the present case, as stated earlier, the application has not been filed by the wife.

Then, by the application filed under the provisions of the RTI Act, information regarding mere gross salary of the petitioner has not been sought and what have been sought are the details of the salary, such as amounts relating to gross salary, take home salary and also all the deductions from the gross salary. It is such nature of the information sought which takes the present case towards the category of exempted information.

All these aspects of the matter have not been considered by the authority below and, therefore, I find that its order is patently illegal, not sustainable in the eye of law. The Writ Petition is allowed.
2 W.A. No.168/2015
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15 May, 2018 Sunita Jain vs. Pawan Kumar Jain

Applicant sought the salary details of her husband under the Right to Information Act, 2005.
The High Court observed that, while dealing with the Section 8(1)(j) of the Act, we cannot lose sight of the fact that the appellant and the respondent No.1 are husband and wife and as a wife she is entitled to know what remuneration the respondent No.1 is getting. Present case is distinguishable from the case of Girish Ramchandra Deshpande (supra) and therefore the law laid down by their Lordships in the case of Girish Ramchandra Deshpande (supra) are not applicable in the present case.
High Court upheld the orders of CIC for disclosure of salary details.
3 W.P.(C) No. 31 of 2017
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30 Apr, 2018 Appellants: Sancha Bahadur Subba Vs. Respondent: State of Sikkim and Ors.

The RTI application sought among other information, Declaration of assets and liabilities and all inherited and acquired properties situated within and outside the State of Sikkim as declared by Shri Prem Bahadur Subba, as per Rule 19 of the Sikkim Government Servant (Conduct) Rules, 1981.
The SPIO withheld information citing the reason that the information being a third-party information had been declined consent by that party to the supply of such information. Aggrieved thereof, the applicant preferred an Appeal before the First Appellate Authority. The FAA upheld the decision of the SPIO reasoning that the Petitioner did not succeed in establishing larger public interest as envisaged under Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act.
The Honble High Court opined that disclosure of such information would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual and falls under the ambit of Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act. Consequently, the prayers were rejected and the Writ Petition dismissed.
4 W.P.(C) 5588/2015
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13 Sep, 2017 M/S SDB INFRASTRUCTURE PVT. LTD. vs CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSIONER & ORS

Having stated the above, this Court is of the view that it is not necessary for respondent nos.2 and 3 to disclose the passport details; Identity cards and copies of the cheques (which may disclose bank accounts) submitted by the persons applying for conversion of the property. There is no justification for disclosure of such information and, therefore, the disclosure of the same is unwarranted.
The decision of the Supreme Court in Girish Ramchandra Deshpandey (supra) is clearly not applicable in the facts of the present case. In that case, the petitioner had sought copies of memos and Show Cause Notice and orders of censure of punishment issued, which were plainly personal information and there was no justification warranting its disclosure.
Before concluding, it would be necessary to refer to Section 11 of the Act which was resorted to by the CPIO. Section 11(1) of the Act clearly enjoins the CPIO to inform a third party in cases where any information in possession of the Public Authority relating to a third party, is intended to be disclosed. In such cases the CPIO has to take an informed decision after hearing submissions of the third party. Thus, in the present case, CPIO was required to examine the entire context in which information was sought and then take an informed decision.
5 CWP No. 22709 of 2013
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03 Aug, 2016 Devi Parsan vs State Information Commissioner, Punjab & Ors.

Devi Parsan vs State Information Commissioner, Punjab & Ors.
The petitioner filed RTI application and sought information relating to service record/ duty record of a particular Homeguard. The information was refused, on account of the fact that the information could not be provided under section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act, as the petitioner was a third party and the said homegaurd has objected to the disclosure of the same stating that the applicant belongs to his village and is harassing him for asking the information under the RTI Act.

The Hon'ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana held the consent of the employee was taken as required under the Act, but he objected to the same. Resultantly, it has been denied to the petitioner. The State Commissioner was satisfied that it would not be in the larger public interest to supply the information and, therefore, the order as such would not be liable to interfere, in the facts and circumstances of the case.
The matter of 'personal information' has been dealt by the Hon'ble HIgh Court in page no.3 of the Judgement
6 Civil Writ Petition No. 17718 of 2014
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26 Jul, 2016 Subhash Vs. State Information Commission, Haryana and others

Subhash Vs. State Information Commission, Haryana and others
The applicant sought information about Information about the complaints and
corruption cases against the serving and retired IAS, IPS, IRS, HCS,
HPS officers.
The respondent-Commission came to the conclusion that the information had been rightly denied to the petitioner recording its finding that the information which was sought was primarily between the employee and the employer and therefore disclosure of which had no relationship to any public authority or public interest. The petitioner’s argument that citizen has a right to know the action taken against public servants involved in corruption charges was accordingly not taken into consideration while upholding the orders passed by the authorities below.

The Hon’ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana held that this Court is of the opinion that reliance upon the judgement of the Apex Court in Girish Ramchandra Deshpande’s case in the facts and circumstances of the case was not justified. Resultantly, the order the CIC was upheld and the writ petition was dismissed. In the present case as noticed from the application, no personal information as such is being sought for against any one officer. General detail of the corruption cases pending against the serving and retired public servants and as to whether in spite of registration of such corruption cases, the service benefits to such officers had been given or not and which officer had passed such orders were sought for. The respondent-Commission shall decide the second appeal afresh keeping in view the above principles laid down by the Division Bench.
The matter of 'personal information' has been dealt by the Hon'ble HIgh Court in page no.4, 5 & 7 of the Judgement
7 W.P. (S) No. 5875 of 2014
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23 Jun, 2016 Geeta Kumari vs The State of Jharkhand & Ors.

Geeta Kumari vs The State of Jharkhand & Ors.
Section 8(1) (j) Personal Information. RTI applicant sought information about the appointment and educational qualification of the petitioner, who was working as A.N.M in the Health Center, Meral. Civil Surgeon-cum-Chief Medical Officer, Garhwa, by the impugned letter asked the Incharge Medical Officer, Primary Health Centre, Meral, Garhwa to make available the information, as sought for under the RTI Act. The information could not be given, in view of the fact that they relate to the personal information of the petitioner and as such, the petitioner is not under an obligation to disclose these facts to any person.

The Hon'ble High Court of Jharkhand held that the information being sought for from the petitioner relates to her appointment to a Government job, and the educational qualification of the petitioner. These are not the personal information of a person who is appointed to a Government job and the people at large are entitled to have the information about the appointment of such person and the fact whether the person concerned is holding the required educational qualification for the same or not. As such the information, which are sought for from the petitioner, are not the personal information which could not be furnished under the RTI Act.
The matter of 'personal information' has been dealt by the Hon'ble HIgh Court in page no.1 & 2 of the Judgement
8 W.P. (C) 7954/2007
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18 Jan, 2016 Canara Bank Vs. P.N.Shukla & Anr

Canara Bank Vs. P.N.Shukla & Anr

The applicant sought information about his own case. The same cannot be denied to him under Section 8(1)(j) of the Right to Information Act, 2005.
The petitioner filed the writ petition challenging the order passed by the CIC whereby the CIC had asked the petitioner to file its response within ten days with regard to issues raised in the letter.

The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi held that the disclosure to the Respondent of the information concerning himself can hardly be said to be an unwarranted invasion of his privacy,”, The petitioner’s plea with regard to exemption under section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act is rejected. The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi further held that the other impugned order passed by the CIC is only in the nature of show cause and if the petitioner has good reason not to disclose the information directed in the notice, it can raise its pleas and defences before the CIC.
The matter of 'personal information' has been dealt by the Hon'ble HIgh Court in paras 2, 3 & 5 of the Judgement
9 Writ Petition No. 8753 of 2013
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11 Jun, 2015 Shailesh Gandhi vs CIC

Shailesh Gandhi vs CIC
The applicant sought income tax returns and balance sheets for three years in respect of Deputy Chief Minister, Maharashtra. The applicant submitted that there is a larger public interest in disclosing this information to compare his affidavit given to the Election Commission with his Income Tax returns. The inforamktion was denied by the CPIO, Income Tax Deptt.
Court upheld the non-disclosability of income tax returns.
The matter of 'personal information' has been dealt by the Hon'ble HIgh Court in paras 4-8, 10, 12-15, 22-26 of the Judgement
10 W.P. (C) 4735/2011
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30 Apr, 2015 UOI vs D.S. Meena

UOI vs D.S. Meena
The applicant sought supply of copies of ACRs of three officers under RTI which was denied as 'personal information'.
CIC directed the petitioner to show the Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) of third party to the respondent which was challenged.
The Court held that the reasons provided by the respondent are not convincing enough to establish before this court that disclosure of ACR details of the said three persons and the DPC proceedings is important for larger public interest. Merely because the respondent wants to avail such information, does not form a substantial reason so as to why this court should allow disclosure of such information. The impugned order passed by CIC was set aside.
The matter of 'personal information' has been dealt by the Hon'ble HIgh Court in paras 3-5, 16, 20 & 22 of the Judgement
11 LPA 34/2015 & C.M. No. 1287/2015
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17 Apr, 2015 SUBHASH CHANDRA Versus THE REGISTRAR, SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

SUBHASH CHANDRA Versus THE REGISTRAR, SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
The applicant sought details of medical facilities availed by the individual judges and their family members of the Supreme Court in last three years including the information relating to expenses on private treatment in India or abroad.

On CIC’s directions, the CPIO provided the total amount of medical expenses for three years informing that information in respect of individual judges is not maintained. CIC’s further directions to the Public Authority to ensure that arrangements are made in future for maintaining the information, judge-wise, as expected in Section 4(1)(a) of the RTI Act, was challenged in the High Court.

No larger public interest is involved in seeking the details of the medical facilities availed by the individual judges. The court held that in the absence of any larger public interest, no direction whatsoever can be issued under Section 19(8) (a)(iv) of the Act by the CIC. Reimbursement of medical expenses being personal information, the Court was of the view that providing such information would undoubtedly amount to invasion of the privacy. The Court, therefore held that the order passed by the CIC dated 01.02.2012 is unsustainable and the same has rightly been set aside by the learned Single Judge.
The impugned order passed by CIC was set aside.
The matter of 'personal information' has been dealt by the Hon'ble HIgh Court in paras 3-6 of the Judgement
12 LPA No. 498 of 2015
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31 Mar, 2015 B.M. Agarwal Versus CIC & Others

B.M. Agarwal Versus CIC & Others
The income tax returns filed by the brothers of wife were sought by the petitioner. Order of CIC declining the same under Section 8 (1) (j) and Section 11 has been challenged in the Court.

The Court held that the appellant may seek summoning of a document from the concerned department in support of his defence and in case, such a prayer is made, the trial court will examine the prayer in accordance with law, but on the said pretext the appellant cannot be supplied income tax return of third party under the RTI Act.
The matter of 'personal information' has been dealt by the Hon'ble HIgh Court in the Judgement
13 W.P. (C) 7431/2011
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17 Mar, 2015 Union Public Service Commission vs Dr. Mahesh Mangalat

Union Public Service Commission vs Dr. Mahesh Mangalat
The matter considered was whether disclosure of personal information of the interviewers of the UPSC selection committee falls within the purview of exceptions provided under Section 8 of the RTI Act?

The Court set aside the order of CIC in so far as directing the disclosure of the names of the Selection Committee Members along with their designation and addresses
The matter of 'personal information' has been dealt by the Hon'ble HIgh Court in para no.s 5, 7, 13, 19, 21, 22 & 25 of the Judgement
14 CWP No. 9578 of 2013 (O&M)
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02 Feb, 2015 Gurtej Singh Versus State Information Commission Punjab and others

Gurtej Singh Versus State Information Commission Punjab and othersI
nformation sought pertains to detailed mark sheet of M.A. 1st and 2nd year as well as B.Ed of Punjabi Lecturer Male of General Category candidates, who were selected in C-DAC-2006. However, the number of candidates in respect of whom the information sought is not clarified in the RTI application.

The Court observed that petitioner cannot be permitted to extend the scope of his original application by specifying number of candidates, at this stage.

The Court held that if the application submitted by the applicant himself was not complete in any manner, he cannot be allowed to find fault with the
respondents in this regard. Further, if the petitioner was not fully satisfied with the information supplied to him, he could have filed another application under RTI Act, seeking remaining information. It further held that the State Information Commission committed no error of law, while passing the impugned order and the same deserves to be upheld.
15 W.P. (C) 85/2010
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24 Nov, 2014 Naresh Trehan & Ors vs Rakesh Kumar Gupta

Naresh Trehan & Ors vs Rakesh Kumar Gupta
Section 8(1)(j) Personal Information. Income Tax Return. The CIC directed the PI0 Commissioner of Income tax to provide inspection of the records and also other information sought for by the respondent relating to the income tax returns filed by the petitioners. Whether income tax returns and the information provided to the income tax authorities during the course of assessment and proceedings thereafter, are exempt under the provision of section 8(1) of the Act? Whether the expression "personal information" must also extend to information relating to corporate entities inasmuch as they may also fall within the definition of expression "person" under the General Clauses Act, 1897 as well as under the Income Tax Act, 1961?
The petitioners pleaded that information provided in the income tax returns could not be disclosed as the information was provided in confidence.
The CIC rejected the same by holding that the parties had failed to explain as to how that ground could apply or how disclosure of information relating to commercial confidence would harm their competitive interest.

The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi held that the assessment proceedings are not public proceedings where all and sundry are allowed to participate and add their opinion to the proceedings. Merely because a spirited citizen wishes to assist in assessment proceedings, the same cannot be stated to be in larger public interest. On the contrary, larger public interest would require that assessment proceedings are completed expeditiously and by the authorities who are statutorily empowered to do so. The petitions are allowed and the impugned order is set aside.
The matter of 'personal information' has been dealt by the Hon'ble HIgh Court in paras 6, 17-25 & 27-28 of the Judgement
Total Case uploaded: 45