New Delhi: Details about finances of a woman cannot be given by a public authority even to her husband under the Right to Information Act as it is personal information, the Central Information Commission has said.
According to Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu, when couples are entangled in legal disputes such as marital claims or cruelty charges, the privacy of individual spouse assumes importance in the context of demand for information.
He said a citizen, even if a spouse, has no right to information about deductions and expenditure from salary, as that would amount to personal information unless it is in larger public interest.
The Commission has, however, clarified that such restriction does not apply on the salary of the wife as such information is mandated to be disclosed under the provisions of the transparency law.
Acharyulu said that while a husband has a right to know the amount of salary of wife (public servant), information about her expenditure and loan deductions cannot be given under RTI.
"As far as RTI Act is concerned there is no difference between the spouse and citizen. Right to privacy is an individual right and within the couple, each can claim or give up that right," he said.
The case related to a couple facing marital dispute in which the husband Dheeraj Kapoor filed an RTI application seeking to know the salary details, deductions, expenditure and personal address of his wife at different times which was denied by Directorate of Health Services.