Medical documents relating to treatment of Late NG Biswas done by a Psychiatrist was denied to his widow u/s 8(1)(h) - CIC: provide information on submission of death certificate issued by Registrar of Births & Deaths and evidence of her being his widow
Medical documents relating to the treatment done by Dr. Sunil, Psychiatrist of a patient namely Late Nani Gopal Biswas was denied to his widow u/s 8(1)(h) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders; - Appellant: information needed in connection with a suit challenging the gift deed executed by her late husband - Respondent: a death certificate issued by the Registrar of Births and Deaths is needed - CIC: information to be provided within four weeks of submission of the said certificate and evidence of her being his widow
According to the appeal, the Appellant filed an RTI application on 2.4.2012 seeking“medical documents relating to the treatment done by Dr. Sunil, Psychiatric (sic) of apatient namely Late Nani Gopal Biswas, S/o – Late P.N. Biswas, R/o Chouldari,Ferrargunj” from 1.1.1989 to 27.5.2010. The CPIO responded on 26.4.2012 and deniedinformation under Section 8 (1) (h) of the RTI Act. Not satisfied with the reply of theCPIO, the Appellant filed an appeal to the First Appellate Authority on 1.6.2012. In thisappeal, she stated that the CPIO was wrong in invoking Section 8 (1) (h) of the RTI Act onthe ground that the case was a “medical legal one”. She further stated that late Shri NaniGopal Biswas was her legally wedded husband and she was by his side as his wife totake care of him in the course of his treatment and that the information could not bedenied to her. She also stated that she needed information in connection with a suitchallenging the gift deed executed by her late husband, who was a chronic psychiatricpatient, without the information or knowledge of the family members (legal heirs). TheCPIO responded on 19.7.2012 stating that the information in question was exempted fromdisclosure under Section 8 (1) (j) of the RTI Act. The Appellant wrote again to the FAA on5.11.2012. The FAA called her for a hearing on 28.12.2012. The Appellant, however,states that she could not appear for this hearing due to late receipt of notice. She furtherstates that she received another communication from the office of FAA that a hearingwould be held on 28.3.2013 and that a formal notice would be issued separately.However, she received no such notice. The Appellant approached the CIC in secondappeal on 12.4.2013.
2. We heard the submissions of the Appellant and the Respondents. TheRespondents reiterated their decision to deny the information under Section 8 (1) (j) of theRTI Act. The Appellant stated that she needed the information in a suit challengingtransfer of property by her husband to a third party at a time when he was undergoingpsychiatric treatment. She further stated that she was entitled to the information as thewidow of Shri Nani Gopal Biswas. In response to our query, the Respondents stated thatthey did not dispute the fact that the Appellant was the wife of Shri Nani Gopal Biswas.They further stated that the Appellant had given them a certificate issued by the Tehsildar,Ferrargunj, stating that Shri Nani Gopal Biswas had expired on 27.5.2010 and declaringthat he had left behind five family members, including the Appellant. The Respondentssubmitted that they were not in a position to accept a death certificate issued by aTehsildar. Such a certificate needed to be issued by the Registrar of Births and Deaths.
3. Having considered the facts and submissions before us, we are of the view thatSection 8 (1) (j) of the RTI Act cannot be invoked to deny information concerning thetreatment of a deceased person to his widow, because the issue of such disclosurecausing “unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual” is not relevant in this case.
4. In view of the foregoing, we direct the CPIO to provide the information sought bythe Appellant within four weeks from submission by her of (i) the death certificate of ShriNani Gopal Biswas, issued by the Registrar of Births and Deaths, and documentary proofconcerning Smt. Maya Rani Biswas, Appellant, being his widow.
5. With the above direction, the appeal is disposed of.
6. Copies of this order be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation:Smt. Maya Rani Biswas v. Andaman And Nicobar Administration in File No. CIC/SM/A/2013/000666/SH