Can the information related to post mortem report be disclosed under RTI?
The appellant sought for the Medico legal report (M.L.R), post mortem and death summary report of a patient. The Public Information Officer (PIO) denied for the documents as patient’s related information is personal andconfidential in nature and stated that information related to the patients comes under fiduciary capacity with the hospital and is exempt under section 8(1) (e) of the RTI Act.
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The Central Information Commission rejected the appeal observing that the traditional definition of a fiduciary is a person who occupies a position of trust in relation to someone else, therefore requiring him to act for the latter's benefit within the scope of that relationship. In business or law, it generally means someone who has specific duties, such as those that attend a particular profession or role, e.g. doctor, lawyer, financial analyst or trustee. Another important characteristic of such a relationship is that the information must be given by the holder of information who must have a choice. In the instant case very clearly a fiduciary relationship exists, since a patient of a doctor or hospital come to it because of the implicit trust they have; and they provide information to the doctor/hospital for their own benefit. Patients also have a choice of which doctor/hospital they wish to approach. Hence unless a large public interest is shown the information is exempted from disclosure.
Citation: Mr. Bijendra Singh v. Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in File No. CIC/SG/A/2012/000360
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/219
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