Gujarat officer challenges order for disclosure of assets

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

GANDHINAGAR - The Gujarat High Court Wednesday issued a notice to the state government after a senior bureaucrat asked the court to set aside a state government order asking officials to furnish details of their assets.

Notices were issued to the state government, its public information officer, the chief information commissioner.

Arvind Agrawal, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, is the vice chairman and managing director of Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC). He approached the court after the state’s chief information commissioner ordered the state government to furnish the Annual Property Returns (APR) of its senior bureaucrats.

This order was issued after journalist Kapil Dave filed a right to information (RTI) application in October 2008.

However, the state’s general administration department and forest and environment department denied having APRs of its officers, saying it was their personal information, and hence not covered under the RTI Act.

Media organisations had then asked for details of income tax (IT) returns of the officers, which too were denied.

The Commission earlier said that “APRs may contain personal information, but it cannot be said that its disclosure has no relationship to any public interest or that it would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual.”

The matter will come up for hearing Dec 9.

Filed under: Immigration

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