Medical records of the deceased to be given to her father
Background of the case
The appellant sought clinical details in form of bed head ticket and medical card of his daughter late Usha Gupta who was earlier admitted in a hospital. The PIO denied information stating that the appellant was not an authorized person and has not submitted any authorization. The Commission dealt with the matter in case No.CIC/AT/A/2010/000114 and remitted it to FAA with the direction to pass a speaking order after hearing the parties within four weeks. In compliance with the Commission’s direction, the FAA decided that the request of the appellant for providing Bed Hed Ticket and Medical Card of Late Usha Gupta fell under fiduciary information which is exempted u/s 8(1) (c) of the RTI Act. The Commission noted that on the one hand the FAA is saying that the requested information falls under the fiduciary category and on the other hand the FAA is claiming exemption u/s 8(1)(c) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information, the disclosure of which would cause a breach of privilege of Parliament or the State Legislature; which talks about breach of Parliamentary privileges. Holding that perhaps there has been some oversight by the FAA while writing the order, the Commission gave the benefit of doubt to the FAA and assumed that the FAA wanted to claim exemption u/s 8(1)(e).
View of CIC
The Commission observed that Bed Head Ticket is a form of chart wherein medical history of a patient from the date of his admission till the date of his discharge is written. It can be understood that while the patient is undergoing treatment, the Bed Head Ticket or medical card may not be disclosed but once the patient has been discharged the said information can be disclosed. Moreover, the information seeker in the present case is not some stranger to the patient but he is father of the patient. In the present case where the patient with respect to whom the information is sought is dead and her father needs that information, the larger public interest demands/warrants that the information should be disclosed. The Commission ruled that information sought by the appellant pertaining to his daughter certainly cannot fall within the exemption under Section 8(1) (e) of the RTI Act and directed the PIO to provide requisite information to the appellant.
The proceedings of the case depicts the lack of knowledge of the provisions of the RTI Act amongst the PIO and FAA.
Citation: Dr. Markandey Keshari v. Northern Coalfields Ltd., Singrauli in Case No. CIC/SS/A/2011/000848