National Federation of Information Commissions
in India

‘No personal info under RTI’

The Bombay high court recently ruled that under the Right To Information (RTI) Act, disclosure of personal information with respect to service record, Income-Tax returns and assets of an individual is illegal — unless it is necessary in larger public interest. Justice Vasanti Naik was hearing the matter, and consequently quashed an order of Nashik state information commissioner asking the information officer to supply information about the personal assets of petitioner Subhash Khemnar to respondent Dilip Thorat.

Justice Naik said that it appeared the chief information commissioner was not justified in directing the information officer to supply personal information in respect of Mr Khemnar’s service record, Income-Tax returns and assets unless he was satisfied that such disclosure was justified in larger public interest.

The judge further said that under Section 8(1) J of the RTI Act, there is no obligation on the information officer to give personal information, the disclosure of which has no relationship with any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion on the privacy of the individual unless the authority is satisfied that it is justified in larger public interest.

Mr Khemnar had challenged the order passed on December 4 last year, which sought his personal information. Initially, the information officer rejected the application by Mr Thorat, who later appealed before a higher authority, but was also rejected. He then put in a second appeal before the chief information officer, which was allowed. Mr Khemnar then moved the high court against this order. Mr Khemnar has alleged that his brother-in-law was being extorted by Mr Thorat. His brother-in-law later filed a complaint against him for extortion.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 September 2013 09:57  

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