Property statements filed by civil servants are not confidential information and can be disclosed after taking the views of concerned officials as per the provisions of the RTI Act, the Central Information Commission has held. Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah rejected the plea of Department of Personnel and Training that these records were held “in confidence” by the government and are hence exempted from disclosure.
“It is clear that the property statements are statements regarding private individuals serving in government and (they) become part of Government records,” he said.
Habibullah said by no means these records can be treated as information held “in confidence” by the government.
He said these records come in the category of “personal information” the disclosure of which could amount to invasion of privacy and would attract section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act.