Bombay HC: No disclosure of personal information under RTI
The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has ruled that personal information can't be disclosed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005 unless it serves a public interest. Hearing the petition in the case of writ petition (WP NO. 2157/2012) filed by Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company (Mahatransco) Limited challenging the order of Maharashtra State Information Commission (SIC), the HC bench ruled that such information is exempt from disclosure under the RTI Act. Justice Vasanati Naik observed that the exception provided in section 8(1) (j) of the RTI Act provides protection from such disclosure of personal information.
An application dated June 6, 2011 was filed under the RTI Act by Sureshkumar Patil, seeking documents like annual performance appraisal and job description of ten employees working in Mahatransco. The SIC (Nagpur bench) had partly allowed the appeal on December 20, 2011 which was challenged by the Mahatransco. Referring to section 8(1)(j) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, 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 unless the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information: Provided that the information which cannot be denied to the Parliament or a State Legislature shall not be denied to any person. of the RTI Act, the HC bench observed that disclosure of personal information causes unnecessary intrusion in the individual's private realm and unless the Information Commissioner finds that such disclosure is justified for larger public interest, no personal information must be disclosed.
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/799
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission