Daily Archives: June 12, 2015

Give TEP investigation results to husband in four months !! Central Info. commission

Stuck with delays in TEP ? No results from TEP ? Officers refusing TEP results ? use this case for time bound results

Give TEP investigation results to husband in four months !! Central Inf commission

CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
Room No. 308, B-Wing, August Kranti Bhaw
an, Bhikaji Cama Place, New Delhi-110066
File No. CIC/LS/A/2009/001067

Appellant   –
Shri Manish Kumar

Public Authority                   –
Income Tax Department
(through : Shri Sukhbeer Chaudhary,
Addl. CIT and Shri Jagdish Chander
Pulhari)

Date of hearing                      –
04.03.2010

Date of Decision                    –
04.03.2010

Facts :-

The matter is called for hearing toda y dated 04.03.2010.  Appellant present. The Public Authority is represented by the officers named above.  It is noticed that vide RTI application dated 12.5.2009, the appellant had sought information about the progress in the TEP filed by him against one Pawan Kumar.  The CPIO had responded to it vide letter dated 11.6.2009.  The first appeal was decided by the AA vide order dated 6.8.2009.

2.         The present appeal is directed against the above orders.

3.        During the hearing, the appellant would submit that he had filed TEP way back in April 2009 and despite lapse of a bout 10 months, no information about the progress made therein has been provided to him.  On the other hand, Shri Sukhbeer Chaudhary would submit that the matter is under investigation and no progress therein can be intimated in terms of section 8(1)(h) of the RTI Act.

4.         It is to be noted that a similar issue had come up before the Commission in File No. CIC/L/A/2009/01014(Brij Balla b Singh –Vs- DG IT(Investigation), Lucknow) wherein the Commission had observed as follows :-

“3.      Besides, it is also to be not ed that blank ban on disclosure of information regarding the action take n on tax evasion complaints may not always be in the best interest of the st ate revenues.  In fact, it may dis-enthuse the information givers as information givers are generally keen to know whether the information provided by them has been of some value to the authorities or not.  Feed back in this regard would motivate the information givers to provide further informations to the authorities and thereby enable them to curb tax evasion and enhance the state revenues.  Viewed thus, despite the office of DGIT(Inv) being an exempted organization, it may not always be the best policy to deny some kind of feed back to the information givers.”  

The ratio of above decision aptly applies in this case.  The TEP may be true or false.  In any case, the appellant is entitled to know the outcome thereof.

However, the full details of the investigation need not be disclosed as it would impede the process of investigation.

DECISION

5.         In view of the above discussion, the CP IO is hereby directed to disclose the broad outcome of the TEP to the appellant in 04 months time.  It is, however, clarified that he need not disclose the details of investigation.

Sd/-
( M.L. Sharma )
Central Information Commissioner

Authenticated true copy. Additional copies of orders shall be supplied against application and payment of the charges, prescribed under the Act, to the CPIO of this Commission.

(K.L. Das)
Assistant Registrar

Address of parties :

1.    The Asstt. Commissioner of Income Tax,
Circle 47(1) & CPIO, Room No. 426,
Mayur Bhawan, Connaught Circus,
New Delhi-110001.

2. Shri Manish Kumar,
C-6/342, Badan Street, Nr. Gole Park,
Dhuri-148024, Pb.

ban on disclosing TEP results NOT beneficial to STATE REVENUES !! Central Inf. Commission to IT Department

Many times the IT department tries to avoid giving TEP results or conclusion of investigation to the applicant. This has a very dampening effect on the informant / applicant. It runs counter productive to the whole TEP concept, and maximizing tax revenues !!

If you are stuck in such a situation, mostly you would have to argue saying that disclosure of information is the the greater public good

However here is a case where the CIC is supporting disclosure from the state exchequesr’s point of view

In this classic order the Central Information commission has said “…blank ban on disclosure of information regarding the action taken on tax evasion complaints may not always be in the best interest of the state revenues….” and added “…In fact, it may dis-enthuse the information givers as information givers are generally keen to know whether the information provided by them has been of some value to the authorities or not. Feed back in this regard would motivate the information givers to provide further informations to the authorities and thereby enable them to curb tax evasion and enhance the state revenues. …..”

So, as per this order, disclosure of TEP results is NOT only for the sake of transparency or for the sake of right to information, wherein greater public good is involved, but disclosure of TEP results benefits state revenues and curbs tax evasion as well

This order should come to the aid of harassed husbands who have filed TEP while fighting false DOWRY cacses

************** case from RTI website ********************
CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
Room No. 308, B-Wing, August Kranti Bhawan, Bhikaji Cama Place, New Delhi-110066
File No.CIC/LS/A/2009/01014

Appellant             :       Shri Brij Ballabh Singh

Public Authority      :       DGIT (Inv), Lucknow

Date of Hearing       :       1.1.2010

Date of Decision :            1.1.2010

FACTS :

The matter is called for hearing today dated 1.1.2010. The parties have not appeared before the Commission. Hence, it has been decided to dispose of the matter on the basis of material on record. By his letter of 29.10.2008, the appellant had requested for information about the action taken on the tax evasion complaint filed by him.

2. The CPIO had refused to disclose information on the ground that DGIT (Inv) is an exempted organisation u/s 24 of the RTI Act. It is, however, noticed that the CPIO had not given the name and designation of the first Appellate Authority before whom the first appeal could be filed. Nor had he mentioned the time frame within which the first appeal could be filed. Thus, it appears that CPIO did not discharge his mandate under sub section (8) of section 7 of the RTI Act.

3. Besides, it is also to be noted that blank ban on disclosure of information regarding the action taken on tax evasion complaints may not always be in the best interest of the state revenues. In fact, it may dis-enthuse the information givers as information givers are generally keen to know whether the information provided by them has been of some value to the authorities or not. Feed back in this regard would motivate the information givers to provide further informations to the authorities and thereby enable them to curb tax evasion and enhance the state revenues. Viewed thus, despite the office of DGIT (Inv) being an exempted organisation, it may not always be the best policy to deny some kind of feed back to the information givers.

DECISION

4. In view of the above, the matter is remanded to ITO (Inv) (HQ) (CPIO), O/o Director General of Income Tax (Inv), Lucknow, with the direction to provide particulars of the First Appellate Authority to the appellant. On receipt of this information or otherwise, the appellant may file first appeal before FAA who will decide the appeal in the light of foregoing observations of the Commission.

5. The order of the Commission may be complied with in 04 weeks time.

Sd/-

(M.L. Sharma)
Central Information Commissioner

Authenticated true copy.
Additional copies of orders shall be supplied against application and payment of the charges, prescribed under the Act, to the CPIO of this Commission.
(D.C. Singh)
Under Secretary & Dy. Registrar

Address of parties :-

1. ITO (Inv) (HQ) (CPIO), O/o Director General of Income Tax (Inv), Aaykar Bhawan, 5, Ashok Marg, Lucknow-226001

2. Shri Brij Ballabh Singh Rajputana Uttar Tola, Maunath Bhanjan, Mau-275101
*****************************disclaimer**********************************
This judgment and other similar judgments posted on this blog was / were collected from websites of Govt. of India or other internet web sites . Some notes are made by Vinayak. Should you find the dictum in this judgment or the judgment itself repealed or amended or would like to make improvements or comments, please post a comment on the comment section of the blog and if you are reading this on tumblr please post responses as comments at vinayak.wordpress.com . Vinayak is NOT a lawyer and nothing in this blog and/or site and/or file should be considered as legal advise.
******************************************************************

TEP cannot go on ad-infinitum, conclude investigation in reasonable time & communicate results to appellant

CIC decision that reiterates that TEP cannot go on ad-infinitum, should be concluded in reasonable time and results communicated to appellant

Often times you have filed a TEP, you expect the IT department to do its investigation and revert with results. But time goes on and on and on and notthing happens. This CIC decision may be of help in such cases !!

The honourable CIC has ordered “…..TEP cannot be allowed to go on ad-infinitum and that it should be concluded in a reasonable time frame whereafter the broad outcome thereof needs to be communicated to the appellant ….” and the CIC goes on to order “….hereby directed to complete the investigation in next three months time and intimate the broad outcome thereof, as indicated herein above, to the appellant in three months time. ….”

******** case from RTI website **********

CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
Room No. 308, B-Wing, August Kranti Bhawan, Bhikaji Cama Place, New Delhi-110066
File No. CIC/LS/A/2009/001179

Appellant   -Sh. Virag R. Dhulia

Public Authority                   -Income Tax Deptt; Kolkata (through : Sh. D.K. Kedia, ITO, Ward 34(3), Kolkata).

Date of hearing                      -18.02.2010
Date of decision                     -18.02.2010

Facts :-

It appears that the appellant had filed a TEP against Shri Hari sh Goda.

In this connection, he had sought informati on on the following 04 paras vide RTI application dated 6.6.2009 :-

     “(i)      Under which section was the notice issued to Mr. Harish Goda?
     (ii)      Please provide a copy of the notice issued to Mr. harish Goda for the said  TEP?
     (iii) Please provide a copy of the acknowledgment of Mr. harish goda having received the notice.
     (iv)      Please provide the details about the current status of the inquiry.”

2.         The CPIO had informed him vide lett er dated 31.7.2009 that the investigation into the matter was continuing.

3.         Aggrieved with this, the appellant has filed the present appeal.

4.        Heard on 18.02.2010.  Appellant not present.  The Public Authority is represented by the officer named above.  It is his say that the investigation in the TEP is still continuing and further action is to be taken by ITO, Ward 31(3), Kolkata.

5. It is to be noted that investigation into a TEP cannot be allowed to go on ad-infinitum and that it should be concluded in a reasonable time frame whereafter the broad outcome thereof needs to be communicated to the appellant i.e. whether the allegations made in the TEP are fully true, partially true or untrue.  No further information needs to be disclosed at this stage.

DECISION

6.         In view of the above, Income Tax Officer, Ward 31(3), 10 – B.C., Middleton Row,  Kolkata-700017, is hereby directed to complete the investigation in next three months time and intimate the broad outcome thereof, as indicated herein above, to the appellant in three months time.

7.         The appeal is disposed of s ubject to the above directions.

(M.L. Sharma)
Central Information Commissioner

Authenticated true copy. Additional copies of orders shall be supplied against application and payment of the charges, prescr ibed under the Act, to the CPIO of this Commission.

(K.L. Das)
Assistant Registrar

Address :

1. The ITO Ward 34(3) & CPIO,
10-B.C., Middleton Row,
Kolkata-700017.

2. Shri Virag R. Dhulia,
203 KK towers, 6 th Cross,
Balaji Layout Kaggadaspura,
CV Raman Nagar, Bangalore-560093.

*****************************disclaimer**********************************
This judgment and other similar judgments posted on this blog was / were collected from websites of Govt. of India or other internet web sites . Some notes are made by Vinayak. Should you find the dictum in this judgment or the judgment itself repealed or amended or would like to make improvements or comments, please post a comment on the comment section of the blog and if you are reading this on tumblr please post responses as comments at vinayak.wordpress.com . Vinayak is NOT a lawyer and nothing in this blog and/or site and/or file should be considered as legal advise.
******************************************************************

Applicant to be given Tax evasion investigation results !! Husbands take note !!

Broad results of TEP investigation to be disclosed by IT department to informant, applicant

In this case (decided in 2013), The Honourable CIC has ruled “….6. It has been the stand of the Commission that in respect of a tax evasion petition, once the investigation is completed, the appellant should be informed the broad results of the investigation, without disclosing any details. The appellant has a right to know as to whether the information provided by him was found to be true or false. ….”

CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
Club Building (Near Post Office)
Old JNU Campus, New Delhi-110067
Tel: +91-11-26105682
File No.CIC/RM/A/2012/000926

Appellant: Shri Ved Prakash Doda, Abohar.

Public Authority: ITO, Ward – 3 & JCIT, Range Sri Ganganagar,  Sri Ganganagar.

Date of Hearing: 18.06.2013

Date of decision: 18.06.2013

Heard today, dated 18.06.2013 through video conferencing.

Appellant is present.

The Public Authority is represented by Shri S.S.Sidhu, ITO Ward-3 Sri Ganganagar.

FACTS

Vide RTI dt 18.4.12, appellant had sought information on action taken on a complaint against Shri  Rajinder  Kumar  filed during Nov-Dec 2011  relating  to tax evasion.

2. CPIO vide letter dt 31.5.12, observed that as per CIC decision, investigation carried out in tax evasion petition of a third party need not be disclosed. Accordingly, information was denied.

3. An appeal was filed on 12.6.12.

4. AA vide order dt 6.7.12, observed that the information sought relate to third party and in the absence of any larger public interest, the information cannot be provided.

5. Submissions made by the appellant and public authority were heard.

DECISION

6. It has been the stand of the Commission that in respect of a tax evasion petition, once the investigation is completed, the appellant should be informed the broad results of the investigation, without disclosing any details. The appellant has a right to know as to whether the information provided by him was found to be true or false.

7. The Commission accordingly directs the CPIO to provide to the appellant, if investigation has been completed, the broad outcome of the investigation, without divulging any details, within ten days from date of receipt of the order.

The appeal is disposed of.

Sd/-
(Rajiv Mathur)
Central Information Commissioner

Authenticated true copy forwarded to:

The ITO & CPIO
O/o the Income Tax Officer
Ward -3, Sri Ganganagar

The JCIT & First Appellate Authority
O/o the Jt. Commissioner of Income Tax
Room No. 04, Range –Sri Ganganagar

Shri Ved Parkash Doda
S/o Sh. Nand Lal Doda, St. No.13
Nal Abadi Choti Pouri Abohar,
Dist. -Fazilka

(Raghubir Singh)
Deputy Registrar
.06.2013

father in-law’s 9 YEAR taxable income 2 be disclosed to son in law fighting dowry case

A husband fighting a dowry case makes an impassioned plea to get his father in law’s taxable income to disprove dowry claims and disprove the FALSE DOWRY CASE.. The Central information commissioner goes thru a large number of relevant cases, the RTI act, the Income tax act and finally decides in favour of the husband (son – in – law) accused !!

The CIC orders as follows “……….We direct the CPIO to furnish the information pertaining to the net taxable income of Shri Munna Lal Saini, the father­in­law of the Appellant, for the period of year 2000 till 15.09.2009 ( i.e. the date of the Appellant’s RTI Application) to the Appellant within 10 days.……”

*********************** CIC decision from the RTI website ********************

Central Information Commission
Room No.296, II Floor, B Wing, August Kranti Bhawan, Bhikaji Cama Place, New Delhi­110066
Telefax: 011­26180532 & 011­26107254
website ­cic.gov.in

Appeal : No. CIC/LS/A/2010/001044­DS

Appellant /Complainant : Sh. Manoj Kumar Saini, Jaipur

Public Authority : The Chief Commissioner, Income Tax, Jaipur (Sh.Amrit Meena, CPIO – through Videoconferencing)

Date of Hearing : 03 Jan, 2011

Date of Decision : 24 March, 2011

FACTS OF THE CASE:

1. Vide his RTI Application dated 15.09.2009, the Applicant sought information pertaining to income tax returns of his father­in­law for the period 2000 to date along with the information pertaining to process for initiating tax evasion petition.

2. The CPIO vide his order dated 06.10.2009 denied disclosure of information citing the provisions of Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act, 2005 (hereinafter “the Act”). Information was provided pertaining to the process of submitting tax evasion petition.

3. The Applicant preferred appeal dated 13.10.2009 before the FAA who adjudicated upon it vide his order of 06.11.2009 by upholding the order of the CPIO and dismissing the appeal.

4. The Applicant has come before this Commission in second appeal. The Appellant made an impassioned plea for disclosure of information sought by him on the grounds that he was a young man who is involved in defending himself in a criminal case against the State of Rajasthan pertaining to dowry related issues. He emphasized that the litigation was not a private matter against his wife / father­in­law and therefore, the denial of information could not be justified on the grounds that there was no public interest in the matter and that the issue was purely a personal one. The Appellant stated that in a welfare state, such as ours, the life and security of every individual was a matter which involved the state. Denial of information to him would result in a prolonged litigation of 10 years and more resulting in his losing the best years of his life and career.

5. Respondent stated that he had ascertained that Shri Munna Lal Saini does not file any income tax returns in this income tax office – Ward 3(1). Appellant stated that with the issue of PAN card which is a unique number, it will not be difficult to ascertain in which ward Shri Saini was filing his returns.

DECISION NOTICE:

6. I have carefully considered the submissions made by the Appellant with great thrust and also by the Respondents.

7. The conviction and thrust with which the Appellant had pursued his case and made his submission explaining the reasons for which he needs the information are plausible. But, however unfortunate as it may seem, the noise of motivation behind seeking the information falls upon deaf ears as far as the Act is concerned. Section 6(2) of the Act clearly states that the Applicant shall not be required to give any reason for requesting the information. Thus, the Act does not aim to judge the motivation or the reason behind seeking certain information, as each applicant may have a different line of reasoning, each one being equally passionate and emotionally driven.

8. What, in fact, matters is whether certain information which has been sought can actually be furnished under the Act. The information has been classified as either public information or personal information under the Act. There is no question of doubt whatsoever that every public information need be furnished upon receiving a request to that effect. However, in case of personal information, the Act stands on a different footing, and the present appeal before us is the best example of that. The Applicant has to satisfy the legislative intent enshrined in Sections 8(1)(j) of the Act which mandates the requirement of “larger public interest” that can justify the disclosure of such personal information.

9. Section 8(1)(j) of the Act is as follows:

      8.
      ( 1 ) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there
      shall be no obligation to give any citizen,-
      
      XXX XXX XXX
      
      XXX XXX XXX
      
      ( j ) information which relates to personal information the
      disclosure of which has no 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 information which cannot be denied to the
      Parliament or a State Legislature shall not be denied to any
      person. “

10. Now I shall deal with each of the respective contentions raised by the Appellant in the appeal before me.

11. The Appellant has contended that the information pertaining to the Income Tax returns filed by his father­ in­law is an information within the ambit of Proviso to Section 8(1)(j), i.e. those IT returns cannot be denied to the Parliament or a State Legislature. Here, we look towards the enlargement of intent of this proviso by Hon’ble Sanjiv Khanna J. in his decision dated 30.11.2009 in Writ Petition (Civil) Nos.. 8396/2009, 16907/2006, 4788/2008, 9914/2009, 6085/2008, 7304/2007, 7930/2009 AND 3607 OF 2007, wherein he stated “ The proviso in the present cases is a guiding factor and not a substantive provision which overrides Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act. It does not undo or rewrite Section 8(1) (j) of the RTI Act and does not itself create any new right. The purpose is only to clarify that while deciding the question of larger public interest i.e. the question of balance between ‘ public interest in the form of right to privacy and ‘public interest in access to information is to be balanced.” It is now apposite to peruse through Section 138 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961), which is as follows:

“ Section 138 -DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION RESPECTING ASSESSEES.

      (1)
      
      (a) The Board or any other income-tax authority specified by it
      by a general or special order in this behalf may furnish or
      cause to be furnished to –
      
      (i) Any officer, authority or body performing any functions
      under any law relating to the imposition of any tax, duty or
      cess, or to dealings in foreign exchange as defined in section
      2(d) of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947 (7 of 1947); or
      
      (ii) Such officer, authority or body performing functions under
      any other law as the Central Government may, if in its opinion
      it is necessary so to do in the public interest, specify by
      notification in the Official Gazette in this behalf, any such
      information received or obtained by any income-tax authority in
      the performance of his functions under this Act as may, in the
      opinion of the Board or other income-tax authority, be necessary
      for the purpose of enabling the officer, authority or body to
      perform his or its functions under that law.
      
      (b) Where a person makes an application to the Chief
      Commissioner or Commissioner in the prescribed form for any
      information relating to any assessee received or obtained by
      any income-tax authority in the performance of his
      functions under this Act, the Chief Commissioner or
      Commissioner may, if he is satisfied that it is in the
      public interest so to do,  furnish or cause to
      be furnished the information asked for and his decision in this
      behalf shall be final and shall not be called in question in any
      court of law.
      
      (2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1) or
      any other law for the time being in force, the Central
      Government may, having regard to the practices and usages
      customary or any other relevant factors, by order notified in
      the Official Gazette, direct that no information or document
      shall be furnished or produced by a public servant in respect of
      such matters relating to such class of assesses or except to
      such authorities as may be specified in the order. ”

12. The legislative mandate is absolutely clear on the front that the Income Tax Returns of an assessee are held by the Chief Commissioner, Income Tax only and such cannot be accessed by any other body or authority except when the Chief Commissioner himself is of the opinion that such returns be furnished to a third party in light of public interest. In R. K. Jain Vs. Union of India (1993) 4 SCC 120 it was held that factors to decide the public interest immunity would include (a) where the contents of the documents are relied upon, the interests affected by their disclosure; (b) where the class of documents is invoked, whether the public interest immunity for the class is said to protect; (c) the extent to which the interests referred to have become attenuated by the passage of time or the occurrence of intervening events since the matter contained in the documents themselves came into existence; (d) the seriousness of the issue in relation to which the production is sought; (e) the likelihood that production of the documents will affect the outcome of the case; (f) the likelihood of the injustice if the documents are not produced……” It was further stated “The courts would allow the objection if it finds that the documents relates to the affairs of the state and its disclosure would be injurious to the public interest, but on the other hand, if it reaches the conclusion that the document does not relate to the affairs of state or that the public interest does not compel its non­disclosure or that the public interest in the administration of justice in the particular case before it overrides all other aspects of public interest, it will overrule the objection and order disclosure of the document”. I am inclined to say that the information sought is not granted immunity from disclosure as class of information. Protection of disclosure has to be ensured by balancing the two competing aspects of public interest i.e. when disclosure would cause injury or unwarranted invasion of privacy and on the other hand if non­disclosure would throttle the administration of justice.

13. It brings me to the second contention of the Appellant which revolves around the concept of “larger public interest”. According to the Appellant, the “State” is pursuing a criminal case against him and that since “State” has decided to prosecute him because of legal fiction created under Section 405 of IPC, automatically a “larger public interest” is involved in the matter. Section 405 of the IPC states that “ Whoever, being in any manner entrusted with property, or with any dominion over property, dishonestly misappropriates or converts to his own use that property, or dishonestly uses or disposes of that property in violation of any direction of law prescribing the mode in which such trust is to be discharged, or of any legal contract, express or implied, which he has made touching the discharge of such trust, or willfully suffers any other person so to do, commits ‘criminal breach of trust’.” Dowry Cases invariably have the component of ‘Criminal Breach of Trust’ relating to misappropriation of property. In case, the State relies upon the fiction of misappropriation, then the other party should have a right to know the details of property reflected in IT Returns which is alleged to be misappropriated.

14. The mandate of the RTI Act to disclose personal information under Section 8(1)(j) is even stricter since it appends the expression “larger” to “public interest”. Mere public interest will not suffice in the disclosure of personal information such as the IT Returns of an assessee unless the Applicant can prove that a “larger” public interest demands such disclosure. The expression “larger” cannot be defined or carved into a straight­ jacketed formula and neither can it be easily disposed of. If the Applicant incessantly stresses on the argument that false dowry cases are a matter of “larger public interest” and that the information relating to IT returns of his father­in­law be furnished to him, then an equally challenging rebuttal could be that the Income Tax Act, which defines the procedure of disclosure of such IT Returns to him, is a public policy which has been enacted by the State keeping in mind the larger good of the society. It is not the case of the Respondents that objection to disclosure of the documents is taken on the ground that it belongs to a class of documents which are protected irrespective of their contents, because there is no absolute immunity for documents belonging to such class.

15. In my view, having assessed the factual situation and the legal reasoning at hand, the correct position of law is that the right forum for seeking the IT Returns of an assessee by a third person is either the Chief Commissioner, Income Tax or the Concerned Court, if the matter is sub­judice. My view is furthered by the fact that the position after the repealing of Section 137 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 by Finance Act, 1964 is that the Court in a sub­judice matter can direct the IT Authorities to furnish the information pertaining to IT Returns of an assessee for inspection by the Court. Thus, disclosure will be warranted if such line of action is followed. There is no absolute ban on disclosure of IT returns.

16. Since, the present appeal raises important questions of law; it is our duty to apply the law as it stands today. In SP Gupta vs. UOI ([1982] 2 SCR 365), a seven judges bench of the Apex Court held that “ the Court would allow the objection to disclosure if its finds that the document relates to affairs of State and its disclosure would be injurious to public interest, but on the other hand, if it reaches the conclusion that the document does not relate to the affairs of State or the public interest does not compel its non­disclosure or that the public interest in the administration of justice in a particular case overrides all other aspects of public interest, it will overrule the objection and order the disclosure of the documents. ” It was further held that “ in balancing the competing interest, it is the duty of the Court to see that there is the public interest that harm shall not be done to the nation or public service by disclosure of the document and there is a public interest that the administration of justice shall not be frustrated by withholding the documents which must be produced if justice is to be done. ”

17. In light of the above view taken by the Apex Court, I am inclined to make an observation in this case. I have already discussed the settled point of law regarding public interest but it is in the pursuance of the principle of that public interest only where we feel that the information pertaining to net taxable income of an assessee for the period of year 2000 till date be furnished by following the Section 10 of the RTI Act to his Income Tax Returns. We shall distinguish the present case from the decision of the CIC in the case of Milap Choraria vs. Central Board of Direct Taxes (Appeal No. CIC/AT/A/2008/00628) as decided on 15.06.2009 and in the case of P.R. Gokul vs. Commissioner, Income Tax, Kottayaam (CIC/AT/A/2007/00405) decided on 15.06.2007. The Milap Choraria Case (supra) did not deal with the issue of information pertaining to net taxable income per se while the Gokul Case (supra) was not centered around the issue of larger public interest for the purpose of disclosure of net taxable income, unlike the present case. In S.P. Gupta case (Supra), Supreme Court stated “The language of the provision is not a static vehicle of ideas and as institutional development and democratic structures gain strength, a more liberal approach may only be in larger public interest.”

18. We direct the CPIO to furnish the information pertaining to the net taxable income of Shri Munna Lal Saini, the father­in­law of the Appellant, for the period of year 2000 till 15.09.2009 ( i.e. the date of the Appellant’s RTI Application) to the Appellant within 10 days.

19. The Appeal is accordingly disposed of.

(Smt. Deepak Sandhu)
Information Commissioner (DS)

Authenticated true copy:
(T. K. Mohapatra)
Dy. Registrar

Copy to:­

1. Sh. Manoj Kumar Saini
Plot No. 69, Adarsh Krishna Nagar,
l Kartarpura,
Jaipur­302006

2. The Central Public Information Officer
The Chief Commissioner of Income Tax
O/o the Commissioner of Income Tax
Ward 3(1) , Jaipur

3. The Appellate Authority
Addl. Commissioner of Income Tax,
Range.3 Ward 3(1 ), Jaipur.