Disclosure of Personal Information is exempted under RTI Act

The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi in Dr. RS Gupta V. GNTCD [LPA 207/2020], held that absence of any larger public interest, disclosure of personal information is exempted under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, as the same will be unwarranted invasion of privacy under Section 8(1)(j) of the Act .

The division bench of Hon’ble Justices Manmohan and Sanjeev Narula observed that, “The attendance record is part of service record which is a matter between the employee and the employer and ordinarily these aspects are governed by the service rules which fall under the expression “personal information”. The disclosure of this information ex-facie has no relationship to any public activity or public interest and pertinently, the appellant is not able to explain or show any nexus between the personal information sought and the public interest involved, for seeking its disclosure.”

The Hon’ble Court noted that the information which was sought by the appellant with regards to other employees contained medical and personal information of the individuals which has no relationship with any public activity or public interest.

The appellant in the present case had filed an RTI application with the Director of Education, Delhi seeking information pertaining to a School regarding his attendance record along with the rest of the staff members, the copy of attendance record of appellant was provided but the record of other staff member was declined pursuant to S. 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act. The Hon’ble court observed that it was not necessary for schools to send a copy of the attendance register of employees to the Department of Education and the department could not be compelled to furnish the information that is not available in the records not maintained by them. It was further observed that “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’.”

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