The Punjab and Haryana High Court passed a judgement on 25th January, 2023. In the judgement, Dr.XXX v/s State Information Commissioner, Haryana and Ors. (LPA No. 145 of 2020 (O&M) overruled the order passed by the State Information Commission, Haryana (Write Petition No. CWP-22358-2015). The case was presided by Honourable Justice Ritu Bahri and Honourable Justice Manisha Batra.
FACTS OF THE CASE:
The Appellant, a dental surgeon, had filed a rape case against a medical officer in January 2015. It was alleged by the appellant that the accused, in an attempt to harass her filed various complaints, including queries under the Right To Information Act 2005. Through this act, the accused attempted to seek personal information of the appellant. The appellant further held that the father of the accused also filed a query under the RTI in an attempt to further pressure her. It was held by the Commission that information could be supplied to the father of the accused.
The Counsel representing the appellant referred to the judgement given by the Supreme Court in Girish Ramchandra Deshpande v/s Central Information Commission and others. It was contended by the court that “information such as memos, show cause notice, order of censure/punishment qualify to be personal information as per Section 8 (1) (j) of the Right to Information Act 2005”
The division judge bench held that only information regarding the date of appointment can be submitted under the Right to Information Act, 2005.
“The information with regard to her place of posting, period of deputation, working hours, place of headquarter during deputation between 01.07.2014 to 31.12.2014, any type of leave availed during the period 01.07.2014 to 31.12.2014 along with permission to leave the headquarter, copy of her attendance register and movement register from 01.07.2014 to 31.12.2014, is relating to the information personal to her. This information is between the appellant and her employer and this would be subject to service rules and cannot be sought by respondent No.5 under the RTI Act, 2005” was held by the Court.
The Court held that information other than the date of appointment will not be disclosed. Another ground of non-disclosure pertains to that such information has no relevance to any public activity or public interest. Further, the Court held that the appellant’s copy of Form-16 and PAN card cannot be submitted to the respondent as it qualifies as the appellant’s information which is personal to her.
Hence, the Court overruled the decision passed by the State Information Commission in Write Petition No. CWP-22358-2015 and passed the judgement in favour of the appellant.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEW BY ARYA THAKUR.