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Personal Information Having No Relation To Any Public Activity, Public Interest Cannot Be Disclosed Under RTI Act: Delhi High Court

Nupur Thapliyal
26 July 2021 2:50 PM GMT
Personal Information Having No Relation To Any Public Activity, Public Interest Cannot Be Disclosed Under RTI Act: Delhi High Court
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The Delhi High Court on Monday observed that any personal information having no relation with any public activity or public interest cannot be disclosed under the Right to Information Act. The Court also said that disclosure of such information can cause an unwarranted invasion into one's privacy.The observation came from a division bench comprising of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice...

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The Delhi High Court on Monday observed that any personal information having no relation with any public activity or public interest cannot be disclosed under the Right to Information Act. The Court also said that disclosure of such information can cause an unwarranted invasion into one's privacy.

The observation came from a division bench comprising of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh while dismissing an appeal regarding an RTI request seeking information with regards to appointments made for the Multi-tasking Staff of the Presidential Estate, Rashtrapati Bhawan. The applicant had sought residential address and fathers' names of all selected candidates who had been appointed for the said post.

While dismissing the appeal, the Bench said thus:

"The release of this information will cause an unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individuals. No larger public interest justifies the disclosure of residential addresses of the selected candidates as well as their fathers' names."

The Court also observed that disclosure of any such information is subject to sec. 8 of the RTI Act which provides for exemption from disclosure of information. 

According to the said provision, it has been provided that information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has not relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual is exempted 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.

The Court was hearing an appeal from an order passed by Justice Pratibha M Singh wherein it had observed that whenever 'Personal Information' is sought under the 'Right To Information Act, 2005', the disclosure of applicant's interest in the information being sought would be necessary to establish his/her bonafides.

The plea was filed by one Har Kishan, who was seeking information with regard to appointments made for the Multi-tasking Staff of the Presidential Estate, Rashtrapati Bhawan.

The Petitioner's daughter had also applied for the said post, however, this fact didn't find any mention in the writ petition and only when a query was put forth by the Court, the Petitioner revealed this fact to the Court.

The information with respect to the notification [of MTS (Multi-Tasking Staff) examination], total number of candidates who appeared in the said examination etc was provided to the petitioner, however, information relating to residential address, and father's names of all selected candidates was refused by the CIC.

For the act of the Petitioner having concealed the material facts including that his daughter had applied for appointment to the post of Multitasking Staff, the petition was dismissed with costs of Rs.25,000/- to be paid to the 'High Court of Delhi (Middle Income Group) legal Aid Society'.

Dealing with the said appeal, the Court observed that it was in full agreement with the view taken by the single judge.

Advocate Milind Singh appeared for the petitioner.

Title: Har Kishan v. President Secretariat & Anr. 

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