The court held that disclosure of the details sought by the petitioner will amount to an invasion of privacy.(HT archive)
The court held that disclosure of the details sought by the petitioner will amount to an invasion of privacy.(HT archive)

Disclosure of interest in info sought under RTI not ‘necessary’ but ‘important’

  • The order was in reference to an RTI plea seeking information from the President Secretariat about the candidates who had appeared, who successfully cleared the exam etc., for the recruitment of multitasking staff
By Richa banka, Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 12:32 PM IST

The Delhi high court has modified its earlier order to state that disclosure of applicant’s interest in the information sought under the Right to Information (RTI) Act is “necessary” only when personal information is sought.

On Friday (Jan 30), justice Prathiba Singh modified her earlier order of Jan 12 where it had said that the reason for disclosure of applicant’s interest is “necessary” to establish his or her bonafide.

On January 12, the judge had said that whenever information is sought under the 'Right To Information Act, 2005', the disclosure of applicant's interest in the information being sought would be necessary to establish his or her bonafides.

The court had passed the order while dismissing the plea of a man who had sought details of the persons appointed at the President’s secretariat for the post of Multi-Tasking Staff. The judge had said that the petitioner had “cleverly” concealed the information from the court that he had filed the plea because his daughter had been unsuccessful in this selection process.

The court also imposed a cost of 25,000 on the petitioner for hiding the facts while also noting that disclosing details of the appointed staff will be a complete invasion of their privacy.

On Friday, the court issued a corrigendum and said, “There is an inadvertent omission in Para 12 of Jan 12 order.”

"This Court is of the opinion that whenever personal information is sought under the RTI Act, disclosure of an interest in the said information sought would be necessary to establish the bonafides of the applicant. Non- disclosure of the same could result in injustice to several other affected persons, whose personal information is sought, " the court said.

The plea by the man through his counsel had sought information from the President Secretariat about the candidates who had appeared, who successfully cleared the exam etc for the recruitment of multitasking staff.

Advocate Anurag Ahluwalia, Central government’s standing counsel, had told the court that while five of the six information sought were provided to the man, the last one, with respect to the phone numbers, names and residential addresses of the successful candidates was not given because that would infringe with their privacy.

(This report, first published on January 30, has been updated to accurately reflect the order of the High Court of Delhi)

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