Wives of government servants have a "right" to know salary particulars of their husbands and these details should also be made public by their offices as mandated under suo-moto disclosure clause of the RTI Act, the Central information Commission has held.
Information Commissioner M Sridhar Acharyulu said every spouse has a right to information about the salary particulars of the other especially for the purpose of maintenance.
"More so, wife has a right to know the salary particulars of the husband, who is an employee of the public authority," he said.
The commissioner further said that the details about a government employee’s salary is no third party information and these have to be voluntarily disclosed under Section 4(1)(b)(x) of the RTI Act.
He said the salary paid to the public authority is sourced from the tax paid by the people in general and it has to be disclosed mandatorily under the RTI section.
"The information about the salary of employee or an officer of the same public authority cannot be considered as a third party information… Public authorities cannot reject such RTI applications about salary under the pretext of the third party information," he held.
Acharyulu warned the Home Department of Delhi government that such denial of information will be wrongful and could incur penalty. The warning was in context of an application filed by Jyoti Seherawat seeking salary slip of her husband who is employed at the Home (General) department.
The information was denied as her husband gave in written to the department that such an information should not be provided to anyone.