Can details of persons who met the President be disclosed?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the President's Secretariat seeking to know the names of all the persons from the State of Maharashtra who had met the President of India on some specific dates. The Public Information Officer (PIO) denied the information under section 8(1)(e) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information; and section 8(1)(j) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, 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 Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information: Provided that the information which cannot be denied to the Parliament or a State Legislature shall not be denied to any person. of the RTI Act.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) observed that the information sought by the appellant is clearly in the nature of personal information. If some individual citizens meet the President of India on a person to person basis there is no reason why the details of those visitors should be placed in the public domain. The CIC held that only when there is an official meeting, the details of the participants can be disclosed. The Commission rejected the appeal stating that there is no reason to interfere in the decision of the PIO.
Citation: Mr. Sunil Kumar Mishra v. President's Secretariat in File No.CIC/SM/A/2012/001735
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1397
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission