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Madhya Pradesh High Court Rules That Wife Has Right To Know Details Of Her Husband’s Income

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A woman has the right to know the remuneration of her husband, the Madhya Pradesh High Court has observed. On May 15, In a significant judgement, a division bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court has ruled that wife has a right to know the salary of her husband. Petition of an estranged wife to get a pay slip of her husband had earlier been rejected by a lower court and a single-bench of the high court had upheld the order on the ground that salary of a person can’t be disclosed to anyone under Right to Privacy.

Facts In Brief

A High Court Bench of Justices S.K. Seth and Nandita Dubey have made the observation while hearing the petition of Sunita Jain who had sought a higher maintenance amount from her estranged husband, claiming that he was a senior officer with the State-run BSNL.

Petitioner’s counsel K.C. Ghildiyal said Ms. Jain had pleaded that her estranged husband Pawan Kumar Jain was drawing a high salary while she was being given a monthly maintenance of just ₹7,000.

After a trial court rejected Ms. Jain’s plea that her husband produces his pay slip, she had filed a Right to Information application to get his salary details.

The issue reached the Central Information Commission, which, in an order dated July 27, 2007, asked the BSNL Central Public Information Officer to furnish the required details, Mr. Ghildiyal said.

Mr. Jain, however, challenged the CIC order before a Single Bench of the M.P. High Court which set aside the CIC order in March 2015.

Mr. Ghildiyal said Ms. Jain then moved the Double Bench of the High Court which observed that a wife was entitled to know the remuneration of her husband.

Order of the Court:

The Court held that the wife couldn’t be denied this information by considering her a third party.

The court said that the Supreme Court order in Girish Ramchandra Deshpande Vs CIC on the basis of which the single-bench had quashed the CIC order was different in nature. In this case, it’s wife who wished to know the exact salary of her husband and she has a right to it.

The Bench stated said there was no ground to deny the wife the information about her husband’s salary. The Court has set aside the order of the Single Bench and consequently, allowed the writ appeal and upheld the CIC order.

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