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The pay particulars of a government employee cannot be considered personal information, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has ruled, while upholding the right of a “betrayed” woman to get details of her husband’s salary.

“The Commission holds that the pay particulars of a government employee cannot be considered as personal information by any means and directs the PIO (Public Information Officer) to provide the same to the appellant,” Information Commissioner Annapurna Dixit noted in her order while backing Chhattisgarh resident Shivkumari Kashyap, whose husband got married for the second time.

Kashyap, who believed that her husband Baldev Singh, an employee of South East Central (SEC) Railway, had entered the name of his second wife in his service book, used the Right to Information (RTI) act to get justice.

She filed an RTI application with the SEC Railway seeking the pay particulars of her husband as well as a copy of his service book, which has all the details of a government servant’s official life, including information about his pay, increment and other things.

When SEC Railway denied her the information, Kashyap approached the CIC, stating during a hearing through videoconferencing on March 10 that she was the “legitimate wedded wife of Baldev Singh and that her husband has been ill treating her”.

“He has also married a second time while remaining married to her (appellant),” her application stated.

“Also in view of the harassment undergone by the appellant in the hands of her husband and because the service book details of her husband being sought by her are not personal information as the same are already in the public domain, the PIO may also provide an attested copy of the first page of the service book to the appellant giving details of the name of the spouse entered therein,” Information Commissioner Dixit directed.

The CIC has said the information should be provided by April 10. 

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