Wife can Access Hubby's Salary Details, Says CIC
Wives of public servants have a right to access salary particulars of their husbands and denial of such information is highly unreasonable, unjustified and amounting to breach of legal obligation, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has held.
Information Commissioner M Sridhar Acharyulu, while disposing of an application filed by one Jyoti Seherawat, said it was the duty of public authority to render required assistance to a public servant’s wife when she seeks her husband’s salary particulars.
He said the information related to the salary was necessary to secure justice.
The information was denied to Seherawat by Home (General) Department, claiming that the third party has objected to its disclosure.
Sridhar said in most cases information about a husband’s salary was denied with mala fide intention either to harass the spouse, delay justice or to avoid payment of maintenance.
He also warned that denial of salary information could incur a penalty under Section 20 of the RTI Act, 2005.
Citing various personal laws, Sridhar said a husband has a legal duty to maintain the wife and children and this was applicable even after divorce.
“Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code mandate that a husband has a general duty to maintain wife and children. The wife’s entitlement to know the salary particulars of her husband gets further fortified by all the above legal provisions.”
In his January 7, 2014 order, Sridhar said the salary paid to a public servant by the public authority was sourced from the tax paid by public and they have a right to access it as per the RTI Act.
He also maintained that such disclosure should be done voluntarily and added that salary of a public servant could not be considered as third party information.