Delhi Highcourt Stays CIC Order, Which Had Allowed A Wife To Get The Details Of Her Husband From The Passport Office Under ‘RTI’

Delhi High Court has stayed the order passed by the Central Information Commission wherein the Central Public Information Officer of the Passport Office was directed to divulge the information about a man under an RTI application filed by his wife.

While issuing notice to the Respondent, the Single Bench of Justice Navin Chawla held that there shall be a stay on the operation of the said Order till the next date of hearing.

The order has come in a writ petition moved by the Ministry of External Affairs against the order dated 15/05/20 passed by the CIC wherein the Passport Office was directed to provide a third party information under an RTI application.

The petition stated that:

‘The issue before the Court for consideration is whether information/documents submitted by a Passport applicant along with the passport application form and/or information contained in the

passport/passport application form, which are personal in nature belonging to third parties, can be divulged to the RTI applicant (Respondent herein) under the Right to Information Act even though no public interest is involved or they are exempt under

Section 8(1 )(j) of the RTI Act.’

In today’s hearing, the Petitioner relied upon the various judgments of the Supreme Court to argue that this court has consistently taken a view that the passport information and the documents submitted by the applicant for issuance of a passport with the Passport Authority cannot be disclosed to an RTI applicant.

The controversy in the present matter pertains to an RTI application moved by the Respondent seeking both her own as well as her husband’s information from the Passport office. The Respondent and her husband are currently involved in a matrimonial dispute.

The CPIO of the Passport Office, while divulged the information pertaining to the Respondent, refused to provide the personal information of her husband.

Aggrieved by this, the Respondent moved the First Appellate Authority which also ruled against the Respondent.

After that, the Respondent moved the CIC where finally, the order was passed in her favour and the CPIO was directed to divulge the information related to the Respondent’s husband in an RTI application moved by the Respondent.

The Petitioner, therefore, challenged the said order of the CPIO in the present writ petition.

The court will next take up this matter on August 13.

The Petitioner, in this case, was represented by Mr.P. Roychaudhuri

Delhi Highcourt- Order

Published by Sneha Vishwakarma

Advocate, Bombay High court.

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