Can a fitness certificate given by employee at the time of joining duty be disclosed under RTI?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) seeking details about the leave status of an employee. The Public Information Officer (PIO) provided most of the information except some personal information relating to the medical condition of the employee concerned.
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The Central Information Commission (CIC) observed that without disclosing the copy of the representation made by the mother of the employee, the PIO can confirm whether any such representation had been made. Similarly without disclosing the copy of the medical certificate furnished by the employee concerned the PIO can confirm whether the employee had submitted a fitness certificate at the time of joining duty at the end of his leave. The Commission directed the PIO to provide the aforesaid information to the appellant. The Commission further held that the queries related to the medical condition of the employee should not be disclosed as they has the potential of causing unwarranted invasion of his privacy and such information was exempt from disclosure under 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 RTI Act.
A recent Supreme Court judgment clarifies the concept of privacy. Link at http://www.rtifoundationofindia.com/sc-income-tax-returns-and-performance-are-peronsal-2406
Citation: Mr. K.B. Bhasin v. Department of Personnel & Training, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions in File No.CIC/SM/A/2011/002673
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/710
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission