Uncategorized Barring larger public interest, disclosure of personal info exempt...

Barring larger public interest, disclosure of personal info exempt under RTI Act, rules Delhi HC

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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has reiterated that disclosure of personal information is exempted under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, in absence of any larger public interest, as it would cause unwarranted invasion of privacy under Section 8(1)(j) of the Act.

The division bench of Justices Manmohan and Sanjeev Narula heard an appeal filed by Dr. R. S. Gupta against the order of a single judge bench.

The fact of the appeal is that the appellant had filed an RTI application with the Director of Education, Delhi government, seeking information pertaining to Geeta Senior Secondary School, in Sultanpuri, in regard to his attendance record for the period between April 2015 and March 2017 with the attendance record of the rest of the staff members.

rti-act

The copy of the attendance register pertaining to the appellant was provided to him, while the record concerning the other staff members was refused by the authority on the ground that the information requested was exempted under Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act.

The appellant filed an appeal under Section 7 of Delhi Right To Information Act before the Public Grievance Commission which was dismissed thereon.

The appellant argued that the authority was not empowered and authorized to decide the appeal. He further argued that the officer concerned had no inherent power or specific authorization to act as an appellate authority.

The court, after hearing both the parties, stated:

“The fact that respondent No. 3 was declared as the Head of the Department for the Commission vide order dated 20th March, 2018, does not mean that authority to discharge the functions of the Appellate Authority stood conferred only from the said date by virtue of such appointment. Therefore, there is no merit in the contention of the appellant that the order dated 20th March, 2018 has been passed by an authority not competent to decide the appeal.”

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The court is of the view that the department could not be compelled to furnish the information that is not available in the records not maintained by them.

“Thus, in our view, in absence of even a remote connection with any larger public interest, disclosure of information would be exempted as the same would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual under section 8(1) (j) of the RTI Act. Petitioner has thus failed to establish that the information sought for is for any public interest, much less ‘larger public interest”, the court opined.

Therefore the Court has dismissed the appeal.

Read the judgment here;

Dr-RS-Gupta-vs-GNCTD

-India Legal Bureau

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