CIC order EPFO to give wife’s Salary details

CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
(Room No.313, CIC Bhawan, Baba Gangnath Marg, Munirka, New Delhi-110067)

Before Prof. M. SridharAcharyulu (Madabhushi Sridhar), CIC

Second Appeal No.: CIC/EPFOG/A/2018/627668

Shri Kapil Agarwal Appellant

Versus

CPIO, EPFO, Haryana Respondent

Order Sheet: RTI filed on 07.05.2018, CPIO replied on 15.05.2018, FAO – Nil, Second appeal filed on 03.08.2018, Hearing on 10.09.2018;

Proceedings on 10.09.2018: Appellant present at CIC, Public Authority represented by CPIO.

Mr.Rajan Chhabra, APFC at CIC:

Date of Decision – 12.09.2018: Disposed of with directions.

ORDER

FACTS:

1. The appellant sought information regarding PF details, last salary slip, UAN number etc., of his wife Mrs. Sakshi Goyal who has worked in three companies (names mentioned in the RTI application). The CPIO on 19.05.2018, transferred the RTI application to the RO East Delhi and RO Gurgaon. Not having received any information, the appellant filed first appeal and the FAA did not pass any order. Aggrieved with the above responses, the appellant approached this Commission.

Decision :

2. The appellant submitted that his wife Mrs. Sakshi Goyal has filed false domestic violence case&maintenance case against him and his family members, in which she claimed that she is not working anywhere. However, she has worked/working in the following organizations i.e. (i) Sahil Group New Delhi from September 2011 to September 2015, (ii) John Keells Gurgaon from October 2015 to November 2016, and (iii) Analec Gurgaon from November 2016 to till date.The appellant submitted that hesought information in order to prove his innocence in the court of law. The appellant also added that he has every right to get complete information as being a spouse and quoted a Bombay High Court order. The appellant stated that Bombay High Court in Writ Petition no. 10690 of 2017in Central Public Information Officer, Aurangabad Vs. Central Information Commissioner and Another, wherein it was held that:

“………Para. 12. Though this information is not before this Court, the contention of the petitioner will have to be tested as to whether the said contention could be referable to Section 8(1)(e) or 8(1)(j) contending that personal information cannot be disclosed to a citizen if it is not in public interest. The claimant/husband cannot be termed as a third party citizen. He is the husband of the employee, whose PF details are being sought. The petitioner’s case, within the framework of Section 8(1)(e), fails.

13. Section 8(1)(j) was never canvassed by the petitioner before any of the authorities below, except in this Court for the first time. I am considering the submissions of the petitioner even under Section 8(1)(j) since law need not be pleaded.

14. Testing the case of the petitioner under Section 8(1)(j), the petitioner would not be obliged to give any information to an unrelated citizen if it causes unwarranted invasion on the privacy of an individual.

18. It cannot be lost sight of in this case that the relation between the person seeking information of the lady, who is employed in a private company, is that of a husband and wife. On account of a marital discord, the wife has dragged the husband before the District Court. For the purposes of his litigation, the husband requires the information about the salary and provident fund accumulations of the wife. Such information could also be acquired by the husband by making an application before the District Court. Rather than perpetuating the hardships of the husband, the CIC has found it fit to direct the petitioner to disclose the said information.

19. In this backdrop, it is imperative that the petitioner must first come to a conclusion, either under sub­clauses (e) or (j) of Section 8(1) that the information is confidential and cannot be disclosed. It is only when the competent authority justifies the non­disclosure under the first part of sub­clauses (e) or (j) that that the second part in the said sub­clauses would have to be considered to the extent of whether the information is required to be disclosed in larger public interest. In my view, the petitioner has failed in the first place to justify it’s refusal to disclose the information. The husband seeking information cannot be said to be a stranger or a third party. The information sought by him also cannot be said to be confidential.

20. In my view, if matrimonial matters are being prosecuted by the parties, there should not be any embargo on divulging the PF accumulations of the wife since the said information is sought by the husband to be placed before the District Court. It also cannot be ignored that the wife is not before this Court and has not challenged the impugned order.”

3. The respondent authority submitted that information is not available with them and it is available at three different CPIOs i.e. EPF Regional office Gurgaon, EPF Regional office Delhi Central and EPFO, Mumbai.

4. In view of the above, the Commission directs the respondent authorities i.e.EPF Regional office Gurgaon, EPF Regional office Delhi Central and EPFO, Mumbaito provide latest salary and PF details of Mrs. Sakshi Goyal to the appellant, within 15 days from the date of receipt of this order. Disposed of.

SD/-
(M.Sridhar Acharyulu)
Central Information Commissioner

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