Posts Tagged ‘Raja’

CHENNAI: Former union telecom minister A Raja, who is in Tihar jail in the spectrum scam, has objected to the disclosure of his tax returns by the income-tax department under the Right To Information (RTI) Act.

Acting on his objection, the department has rejected the RTI application filed by V Gopalakrishnan, an activist in KK Nagar. Gopalakrishnan, in his application dated March 15, 2011, asked the department to furnish the copies of income-tax returns of Raja for ten years from 2000-01 to 2010-11.

The public information officer (PIO) of the Trichy income-tax office sent a letter to Raja on April 5, calling for his objections, if any, in furnishing the copy of his income-tax returns to the applicant. In response to the communication, Raja’s representative S Muthukumarasamy sent a reply saying, “The personal details of income-tax returns and other details are exempted from disclosure under section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act. The details called for are not eligible to be issued under the RTI Act.” He also quoted two decisions of the Central Information Commission (CIC) delivered in July 2006 and February 2007 in support of his objection.

On his part, Gopalakrishnan mentioned in his application a 2009 decision of the CIC arguing that the income-tax returns should be disclosed under the Act. The PIO in his RTI reply said there was no public interest involved in the disclosure.

Stating that he had sought for Raja’s objection as per section 11 of the Act since the applicant had sought for a third-party information, the PIO said: “I am not satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of the information sought for by the applicant. Accordingly, I decline to furnish the information.”

In the case of deputy chief minister MK Stalin, whose income-tax return copies were also sought for by the applicant for the years 2006-07 to 2010-11, the PIO of Chennai income-tax office rejected the application without even calling for Stalin’s objections.

“You (the applicant) have not made out any case in the larger public interest. I am satisfied that the disclosure of such information is not in any public activity or interest,” the PIO said.

On Tuesday, TOI reported the objections raised by chief minister M Karunanidhi, Union home minister P Chidambaram and Union textile minister Dayanidhi Maran to disclose their income-tax returns under the RTI Act. Following their objections, the income-tax department rejected the RTI queries seeking their IT-returns.


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