Passport details, copies of birth certificate and copies of records of educational qualification are personal information, the disclosure of which would cause unwarranted invasion of privacy of individuals unless there was an overbearing public interest
O R D E R
1. The appellant filed an online application under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act) before the Ministry of External Affairs, Consular, Passport and Visa (CPV) Division seeking information regarding the reason for delay in processing of passport application number mentioned in the RTI application submitted in Allahabad Passport Sewa Kendra on 21.12.2017.
2. The appellant filed a second appeal before the Commission on the ground that the information sought for pertained to the status of the application and no personal information was asked for.
3. The appellant was not present despite notice. Shri P. Roychaudhari, Advocate, representing Ministry of External Affairs, Passport Office, Lucknow was present in person.
4. The representative of respondent submitted that the CPIO denied the request u/s 8 (1) (j) of the RTI Act, 2005 since the information sought is pertaining to the passport application of a Third Party. In support of his contention, the CPIO also referred to the decision of the Delhi High Court in Union of India vs. R. Jayachandran W.P. (C) 3406/2012 and CM APPL. 7218/2012 dated 19.02.2014.
5. The Commission, after hearing the submissions of the respondent and perusing the records, finds that an appropriate reply has been provided to the appellant by the respondent. In this context, the Commission referred to the decision of the High Court of Delhi in the matter of Union of India vs. R. Jayachandran W.P. (C) 3406/2012 and CM APPL. 7218/2012 dated 19.02.2014 wherein it was held that passport details, copies of birth certificate and copies of records of educational qualification are personal information, the disclosure of which would cause unwarranted invasion of privacy of individuals unless there was an overbearing public interest in favour of disclosure.
6. Hence, there are no grounds to interfere with the reply/ order of the CPIO/ FAA dated 15.02.2018 and 06.03.2018 respectively. Hence, no further intervention of the Commission is required in the matter.
7. With the above observations, the appeal is disposed of.
8. Copy of the decision be provided free of cost to the parties.
Chief Information Commissioner
Citation: Himanshu Mishra v. CPIO, Ministry of External Affairs in Second Appeal No. CIC/PASOF/A/2018/613512, Date of decision 31.07.2019