The Finance Ministry says it may "violate" their privacy

The Finance Ministry has declined to disclose information related to cases of tax evasion by private companies and individuals who executed Commonwealth Games related works here saying it may “violate” their privacy.

“The requisite information is personal information of an entity or person and therefore disclosure of such information may violate the privacy of the entity or person,” the Ministry said in response to an RTI query.

The Finance Ministry was asked to give details of amount of direct or indirect tax evasion detected by it in connection with Commonwealth Games related projects carried out by various private or government individuals or groups.

The Ministry also cited exemption clause under Section 8 (1) (J) of the Right to Information (RTI) Act in its reply.

The Section bars disclosure of information “which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual”.

It, however, allows a Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, to give such information in case the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information.

“The applicant has furnished no evidence to suggest that larger public interest justifies the furnishing of such information,” the reply said.

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) had detected huge tax evasion by certain private entities while executing works for the sporting extravaganza held in Delhi in October 3-14, 2010.

The details of evasion were also shared by the CVC with the Finance Ministry which had in return issued demand notices of at least Rs. 240 crore so far, officials said.

The Commonwealth Games were mired in alleged corruption in several projects executed by government and private organisations. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had also announced a High Level Committee (HLC) to look into the allegations of corruption.

Six reports submitted by the HLC are being examined by a Group of Ministers headed by Defence Minister A K Antony.

At least 37 government departments had spent over Rs. 13,000 crore in 9,000 publicly-funded CWG related projects.

More In: National | News