The present case pertains to the wife seeking details of her estranged husband’s salary, which was rejected by the trial court vide the application filed by the wife under Section 91 of the Cr.PC. After rejection of an application under the Right to Information Act, the Central Information Commission asked the Central Public Information Officer, BSNL, unit of BSNL to furnish the details of monthly remuneration of the husband vide order dated 27.07.2007. The Husband moved a writ challenging the order passed by the CIC, which subsequently heard the appeal and subsequently granted the pertinent information to be made available in the public domain vide order dated 26.12.2007. A Single Bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, whilst hearing a fresh Writ filed by the Husband against the order dated 26.12.2007, allowed the writ with reference to the judgement in Girish Ramchandra Deshpande vs. Central Information Commissioner and others (2013) 1 SCC 212.

The Wife challenged the order of the Single Bench before a Bench of Justice S.K Seth and Justice Nandita Dubey to establish findings on the followings issue:

  • Whether the information sought is exempt under Section 8(1)(j) of the Act or it is covered by Section 4(1)(b)(x) which obliges the public authorities to display on public domain the monthly remuneration received by each of its officers and employees.

Whilst adjudicating on the said issue, the Hon’ble Court made the following observations:

“While dealing with the Section 8(1)(j) of the Act, we cannot lose sight of the fact that the appellant and the respondent No.1 are husband and wife and as a wife she is entitled to know what remuneration the respondent No.1 is getting.

Present case is distinguishable from the case of Girish Ramchandra Deshpande (supra) and therefore the law laid down by their Lordships in the case of Girish Ramchandra Deshpande (supra) are not applicable in the present case.”

The Bench set aside the order passed in Writ Petition No.341/2008 which set aside the order of the CIC dated 26.12.2007 and allowed the Writ Petition No.170/2015 filed by the wife.

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Order: Sunita Jain Versus Pawan Kumar Jain and Others