Ex-CJI Balakrishnan wants his I-T info out of RTI
Thiruvananthapuram: NHRC chairman and former CJI KG Balakrishnan has asked the income tax office in Kochi not to disclose details of his I-T returns, citing that the CJI’s office is beyond the purview of the RTI Act.
The information was sought by an activist for the period when Balakrishnan was a Supreme Court judge and later the Chief Justice of India.
The application was filed by a Kochi-based activist, T Balachandran, with I-T office seeking details of Balakrishnan’s tax returns during 2005-10 and details after the media exposed that his two sons-in-law, brother and nephew had allegedly amassed huge wealth during this period. The activist also sought details of the former CJI’s property.
He had also sought certified copies of reports and related documents with file notes relating to the investigation and inquiry conducted by the I-T department, if any.
The IT department had issued a letter to Justice Balakrishnan to furnish his objections in connection with disclosure of the documents.
Justice Balakrishnan filed a letter dated February 5 stating that disclosure of information sought is exempt from disclosure as per Sect 8(i) of the RTI act, 2005.
"Information which relates to personal information, disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest or which would cause unwarranted invasion of privacy of the individual are completely exempt from disclosure unless the Central Public Information officer or state Public Information Officer of the appellate authority, as the case may be, is satisfied that the larger public interest justified the disclosure of such information", he stated.
Rejecting the application, K Sudhakaran Pillai, Central Public Information Officer and Income Tax Officer, ward 3(1), Kochi, said nothing in the application states how disclosure of the information would serve the larger public interest.
The applicant's counsel advocate DB Binu said they would file an appeal against the order within 30 days.
With PTI Inputs