CIC orders CPIO to provide generic details of husband’s gross income to claim fair amount of child support

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has ordered the Center’s Public Information Officers (CPIO) to provide husband’s “generic net taxable income/gross income details” to the wife free of charge within 15 days.

Information Commissioner Saroj Punhani noted that details or copies of third party tax returns and other personal information need not be disclosed to the caller. However, in the context of a dispute involving the maintenance of the wife, information relating to the husband’s income no longer remains confined to the category of personal information.

The Appellant filed an online ITR application regarding her husband for the assessment years beginning from assessment year 2013-2014 through assessment year 2020-21 to defend her marital case pending in court. RTI’s claim was filed seeking fair maintenance for herself and her minor daughter under the Domestic Violence Act 2005; the Hindu Marriage Act, 1954, etc.

The Appellant relied on the decision of the CIC Coordination Bench in the Rahmat Bano case, in which disclosure of gross income was permitted to ex-spouse on grounds of subsistence and livelihood of family.

The CPIO reiterated the denial of the information and said the third party had categorically denied disclosing the information about him. The appellant may be legally married to the third party, but under the RTI Act she is a third party and therefore the information cannot be provided to her.

The CIC has issued instructions to the CPIO, Office of Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax, Jamnagar with respect to disclosing the generic details of taxable net income or husband’s gross income to the concerned wife.

Case Title: Ambika Bhatia v CPIO

Reference: CIC/CCITA/A/2021/609436

Dated: 08/11/2022

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