IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
VINITA SINGLA ..... Petitioner
Through: Mr.Manish Jain, Mr.Ankur Garg, Mr. Sougata Ganguly, Mr.
Rukban Tyagi and Mr. Deepak Kumar Bansal, Advocates
UNION OF INDIA and ORS ..... Respondents
Through: Mr. Akshay Makhija, CGSC with Mr. Rohitendra Del, Advocate
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE S. RAVINDRA BHAT
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE VIPIN SANGHI
O R D E R
C.M. No.14658/2014 (Exemption)
Allowed, subject to all just exceptions.
W.P.(C) 6010/2014 and C.M. No.14657/2014
Issue notice. Counsel for the respondent accepts notice.
The petitioner impugns Section 44(2) and 44(6) of the Lokpal and
Lokayukta Act, 2013 to the extent that they invade her privacy. These
provisions, it is urged, compel the disclosure of income earned and
assets owned by spouses of public servants, who are not public servants
It is submitted that ruling by compulsion of these provisions, a
public servant has to necessarily disclose these particulars, failing
which they would be deemed to be his assets and income under Section 45,
potentially exposing him to action under the Act.
Learned counsel urges that the mandate of Rule 3, i.e. disclosure of the information before 15th September ? unless stayed, would result in
the present proceedings being rendered infructuous, inasmuch, as, the
information would have to be furnished by her husband.
Rule 3 reads as follows:
?3. Manner of submission of information and annual return.??
(1) Every public servant shall make a declaration of his assets and
liabilities under sub-section (1) of section 44 in the format specified
in Appendix-I, along with the information required under sub-section
(2), or as the case may be, sub-section (3), and the annual return under
sub-section (4) of section 44 in Forms I to IV specified in Appendix-II.
(2) Every public servant shall file declaration, information or
return, as the case may be, regarding his assets and liabilities as on
the 31st day of March every year, to the competent authority as referred
to in clause (c) of sub-section (1) of section 2, on or before the 31st
day of July of that year:
Provided that the public servants who have filed declarations,
information and annual returns of property under the provisions of the
rules applicable to such public servants shall file the revised
declarations, information or as the case may be, annual returns as on the
1st day of August, 2014, to the competent authority on or before the 15th
day of September, 2014?.
This Court has considered the submissions. Prima facie, there is
merit in the petitioners contention that as a private citizen, the
indirect method adopted by Section 44 in compelling disclosure, which is
essentially falling within her exclusive control, results in violation of
Article 21. However, this aspect requires to be gone into. At the same
time, in the absence of an interim order, there is likelihood of
Balancing all these factors, the petitioner shall comply with Rule
3 by furnishing the particulars in a sealed cover to be submitted by her
husband to the respondents, which in turn be furnished to the competent
authority under the Rules. This interim order shall subsist till the
final disposal of the petition.
It shall be the responsibility of the competent authority to ensure
that the secrecy of the declaration is maintained during the pendency of
List on 24.11.2014.
S. RAVINDRA BHAT, J
VIPIN SANGHI, J
SEPTEMBER 09, 2014