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Affidavit submitted for grant of maintenance allowance

Information regarding a copy of the affidavit submitted by appellant’s wife Mrs Bhavya Sharma to the sanctioning authority for grant of maintenance allowance was denied u/s 8(1)(e) & 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act. The appellant contended that the exemption claimed by the PIO is not proper as he was seeking information about his wife so as to know if the contents of the affidavit filed by her for grant of maintenance allowance are correct or not. The CIC held that even if there is a husband- wife relationship between the appellant and the third person regarding whom he is seeking the information but under the RTI Act, a husband is considered as a third party to his wife and the same applies vice-versa. Unless and until there is an involvement of larger public interest in disclosure of the information, no relief can be given in such cases.

Comments

Section 2 (n) of the RTI Act defines ‘third party’ as a person other than the citizen making a request for information and includes a public authority. The definition of a third party is vast and everyone other than the applicant is covered under it. A relationship does not entitle an individual to overlook the privacy of the third party.

Citation: Manish Kumar v. Headquarters Northern Command in File no.: - CIC/IARMY/A/2019/138225, Date of Decision: 02/06/2021

Dr. Anuradha Verma (dranuradhaverma@yahoo.co.in) is an expert on RTI matters and has co-authored the books RIGHT TO INFORMATION - LAW AND PRACTICE and PIO’s guide to RTI. Apart from her weekly article here, her other articles can be read at the website of RTI Foundation of India at the link: www.rtifoundationofindia.com

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