Mumbai(web team): The Bombay high court on Tuesday will hear a writ petition filed by former central information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi seeking NCP leader Ajit Pawar’s income tax returns. Gandhi’s writ petition will come up for hearing in court room #3.
Gandhi had sought the former deputy chief minister’s IT returns in 2009. He was, however, denied information under the income tax department. The public information officer had invoked the third-party clause and stated that when Pawar asked, he declined to give information.
The former commissioner then filed a first appeal, which upheld the decision of the public information officer. At the stage of second appeal, the information commission in a five-member bench order ruled that the information was “personal” in nature, and denied providing it as per section 8 (1) (j) of the RTI Act. The commission also cited a Supreme Court order to back its decision.
In his petition, Gandhi has challenged the order stating that the commission did not apply its mind and that it overlooked the fact that under 8 (1) (j), information that cannot be denied to Parliament or state legislature.
Quoting another SC order, Gandhi stated that such information be furnished as it furthers transparency. He added that the income tax department does not match IT returns with the assets and liabilities filed by elected representatives in their affidavits.
When dna contacted Ajit Pawar, he said, “I do not know about this. I am into politics. These things are handled by our lawyers and chartered accountants. I am not even in Mumbai and I will have to check regarding this.”