Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Justice KGB objects to disclosures of tax returns

15 Feb 2011

Kochi: Income Tax authorities here have declined to reveal the details of the tax returns filed by NHRC Chairperson Justice K G Balakrishnan and 7 family members on an application filed under the Right to Information act, after the former CJI objected to the disclosures.

The application was filed by Dr T Balachandran following allegations of wealth disproprotionate to known sources of income against the family members of Justice Balakrishnan.

The appliacant had sought information and documents certified copies of the IT returns submitted by Justice Balakrishnan for the financial years 2005-06 to 2009-10, details of investigation and enquiry conducted by the department against him and his son, K B Pradeep, two daughters -- Sony and Rani, sons-in law M J Benny and P V Sreenijan and brother K G Bhaskaran and certified copies of the reports and related documents with file notes relating to the investigation and enquiry conducted by the IT department if any.

The IT department had isued a letter to Justice Balakrishnan to furnish his objections in connection with the disclosure of the docuemnts. In response to the letter, Justice Balakrishnan filed a letter dated Feb 5, objecting to the disclose the above information stating that disclosure of the information sought for by Dr balachandran is one which is exempted from disclosure as per sect 8(i) of the RTI act, 2005.

'Information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarrnated invasion of the piracy of the individual are completely exempted from disclosure unless the Central Public Information officer or the 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', justice balakrishnan stated.

Rejecting the application, K Sudhakaran Pillai, Central Public Information Officer and Income tax officer, ward 3(1), Kochi said there is nothing mentioned in the applcation as to how the disclosure of the information would serve the larger interest.

The applicant's counsel, advocate D B Binu, said they would be filing an appeal against the order within 30 days.

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