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SC rejects RTI plea seeking copies of Ajit Pawar’s I-T returns

Shailesh Gandhi who is currently the honourary chairman of the Technical Advisory Committee set up by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to advise on RTI, had in 2012 sought Pawar’s I-T returns.

ajit pawar tax returns, ajit pawar rti, rti, irrigation project, Ajit pawar, ACB, NCP, questiosn for Ajit, mumbai news, city news, locla news, maharashtra news, Indian Express Former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.

The Supreme Court has refused to entertain a plea by former Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi, who wanted copies of the Income Tax returns of former Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar under the RTI Act. A bench of Justice M Y Eqbal and Justice C Nagappan declined Gandhi’s appeal against the Bombay High Court order, saying there was no merit in his arguments.

Gandhi who is currently the honourary chairman of the Technical Advisory Committee set up by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to advise on RTI, had in 2012 sought Pawar’s I-T returns. Pawar, who is the nephew of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, was the deputy CM during that period.

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Gandhi had reasoned: “There is a larger public interest in disclosing this information to compare his (Pawar’s) affidavit given to the Election Commission with his Income Tax returns.”

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Since the information pertained to a third party, the public information officer in the Income Tax department wrote to Pawar, seeking his consent but the politician reportedly opposed the disclosure.

Gandhi then moved the Bombay HC. He contended that the information, which cannot be denied to the Parliament or the State Legislature, cannot be denied to a citizen.

In June this year, the HC junked his plea, citing the Supreme Court decisions that IT returns constitute personal information. About the disclosure before Parliament and State Legislature, the HC said they have their own rules of business and no parallel can be drawn.

First published on: 28-08-2015 at 01:01:35 am
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