Re: Does citizen have the right to access personal information.
What is paid to a Government servant can always be disclosed. That is because the Public Interest in disclosing that is greater than the privacy that is sought to be protected. However the details of the savings, debt and other such financial status of the Government Servant which are, at times, contained in the salary slip are matters of privacy. It cannot be intruded upon without the consent of the Government servant concerned (following the procedure under Sec 11) or when it is proved that the public interest in their disclosure far outweighs the private interest that is sought to be protected. Therefore such details cannot be part of the suo motto declarations under Sec 4 (1)(b) of the Act. Each case has to be examined against the touchstone of public interest and then decided. There cannot be a thumb rule.