Passport related information is personal in nature qua the passport holder and cannot be disclosed to any other individual - CIC: It seems more of a roving and fishing query which lacks specific details and hence cannot be addressed under the RTI Act
Information sought and background of the case:
The Appellant filed an RTI application dated 14.04.2021 seeking information on the following point:-
Padmavathi K Joshi wife of K M Joshi. (Kantilal Mohanlal Joshi - PWD Chief Engineer expired on 10.09.85 leaving behind her wife Padmavathi K Joshi). The details of Padmavathi K Joshi are required as some physical harm could have been done to her as she has disappeared and not been able to be traced. The address she was residing at was No. 32, 5thMain Jayamahal Extension Bangalore 560046. Request for her passport copy and date of travel if any between 1985 to 2020
The PIO vide online reply dated 16.04.2021 stated that the information sought by the Appellant is not available in their office.
Dissatisfied with the response received from the CPIO, the Appellant filed a First Appeal dated 16.04.2021. The FAA/Addl. Secretary (PSP) vide order dated 24.05.2021 upheld the reply of the CPIO.
Aggrieved and dissatisfied, the Appellant approached the Commission with the instant Second Appeal.
Facts emerging in Course of Hearing:
Hearing was scheduled through virtual means after giving prior notice to both the parties. Both parties are heard through video conference and the Appellant contended that he had purchased a property from the Appellant’s husband, with respect to which he had now received sent a notice by the Bangalore Development Authority trying to locate the whereabouts of the third party, viz. with respect to purchase of a property from Smt. Padmavathi K Joshi wife of Shri K M Joshi. The Respondent reiterated contentions as stated above.
Upon perusal of the records of the case and after hearing the averments of the parties, the Commission notes that in so far as the legal position is concerned, the Delhi High Court vide decision dated 19.02.2014 in Union of India vs. R Jayachandran [W.P.(C) 3406/2012], had clearly held that passport related information is personal in nature qua the passport holder and cannot be disclosed to any other individual/third party information seeker, under the RTI Act. Moreover, it seems more of a roving and fishing query which lacks specific details and hence cannot be addressed under the RTI Act.
In the light of the aforementioned discussion, the appeal is dismissed as such.
Y. K. Sinha
Chief Information Commissioner
Citation: Shri Atheeq Sulaiman v. Ministry of External Affairs, Second Appeal No. CIC/MOEAF/A/2021/626099, Date of Decision: 03.11.2022