A Public information officer is not liable to disclose personal information if it warrants a clear breach of privacy of the individual: Gujarat High Court

High Court Of Gujarat vs Gujarat Information Commission on 17 January, 2023

Bench: Honourable Justice Biren Vaishnav



The respondent no: 2 who is a Judicial Officer submitted an application seeking information in reference to

  • Details of Home town, place of practice, personal data form, relation with any Judicial Officer/Advocate
  • Decisions of Hon’ble High Court of Gujarat on the representations for transfer submitted by the judicial officers of his batch
  • Certified copy of representations for transfer submitted by the judicial officers of his batch

Among other things.

The application along with the money order was received by the Public Information Officer. Thereafter, the Public Information Officer initiated a correspondence with the concerned department for collecting the information as sought for by the respondent that involved a considerable time. He provided all the information requested by respondent no: 2 except the above mentioned information sought by the respondent. Aggrieved by the action of the Public Information Officer, the respondent filed First Appeal No.37 of  2014  on  11.04.2014 before the Appellate Authority. He contended  that information with regard to certain items viz. items had not been provided. On hearing the parties, the Public Information Officer addressed a reply to the respondent providing the details of the information sought by him. In reference to some of the points for which the information was not provided, the public information officer stated that the information was highly personal and hence he could not provide it.

The Appellate Authority after examining the case rejected the appeal of the respondent. While rejecting  the appeal the Appellate Authority observed that since some of the information was personal in nature, it could not be provided

Aggrieved by the order of the First Appellate Authority, the respondent no: 2 filed an appeal before the respondent no.1. By the impugned order dated  23.06.2014, the Appellate Authority has passed a judgement directing  the Public Information Officer to provide the remaining information available to the respondent no.2 within 15 days from the receipt of the order. It is on this ground that the petition has been filed.

The advocate for the petitioner submitted that the Information Commission could not direct the respondent to  provide the information which it itself could not provide as it pertained to third party and in view of the embargo imposed in Section 8(1)(j) of the Act, it was rightly not provided. Section 8(1) (j) of the RTI Act, 2005 encapsulates that information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual, unless the CPIO or SPIO or the Appellate Authority is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information should be exempted from disclosure


The Gujarat High Court after considering representation from both the parties held that the above mentioned information sought by respondent no: 2 was evidently personal and the appellate authority rightly rejected such information under section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act.

The Honourable judge also held that any information between the employer and employee solely governed by the service rules and falls within the ambit of ‘personal information’ and the disclosure of which would cause unwarranted intrusion of privacy need not be disclosed.

The Court held that since the above mentioned information is highly personal and warrants a clear breach of privacy, it is not liable to be disclosed.


click here to view judgement

“PRIME LEGAL is a full-service law firm that has won a National Award and has more than 20 years of experience in an array of sectors and practice areas. Prime legal fall into a category of best law firm, best lawyer, best family lawyer, best divorce lawyer, best divorce law firm, best criminal lawyer, best criminal law firm, best consumer lawyer, best civil lawyer.”










Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *