Report of the Enquiry Committee which enquired into the treatment given to a patient - denied on the grounds that enquiry into the matter was still under enquiry - CIC: denial indefinitely is improper; findings of the report to be provided free of cost
Shri Mahadev Tukaram Sutar, hereinafter called the appellant, has filed the present appeal dated 21.5.2012 before the Commission against the respondent Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT), Mumbai for not providing complete and satisfactory information in response to his RTI-application dated 19.1.2012. The appellant was represented by Uday Choudhari whereas the respondents were represented by Shri P. Mohana Chandran, Secretary/FAA and Dr. Vasumati Upadhye, Sr. Dy. CMO/CPIO, Medical Department.
2. The appellant has through his RTI application dated 19.1.2012 sought information on the following three queries
“(a) Smt. Parvati Mahadev Sutar wife of the appellant was admitted in the MbPT Hospital on 13.11.2011 and underwent operation on right knee on 16.11.201 and shifted to Bombay Hospital and Medical Research Centre, Mumbai on 17.12.2011;
(b) The required information is about the report of the enquiry committee submitted by Dr. Vinita Matta, who was appointed to enquire into the treatment given to Smt. Parvati Mahadev Sutar in MbPT Hospital from 13.11.2011 to 17.12.2011; and
(c) The information in the form of certified copies of the case papers/treatment sheet relating to treatment given to Smt. Sutar during 13.11.11 to 17.12.2011 in MbPT Hospital.”
The CPIO vide her letter No. H/E/39/9926 dated 18.2.2012 denied information on Point (b) and (c) of the RTI application u/s 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 (j) of the RTI Act and provided information on Point (c) i.e. summary of the case.
3. Not satisfied with the reply of the CPIO, the appellant preferred first appeal on 12.3.2012 before the FAA. The FAA vide his order No. AA/RTI/FAA Order 5/2590 dated 11/12.4.2012 held that the preliminary enquiry report has to be considered as confidential and further actions in the matter were required to be taken. However, as Smt. Sutar is still undergoing treatment for the skin infection, it is appropriate that the husband of the patient is supplied with the copies of case papers indicating the treatment given to Smt. Sutar between 13.11.2011 and 16.12.2011, which the CPIO may do within ten days. The CPIO, in compliance with the directions of the FAA, vide her letter No. 624 dated 21.4.2012 provided photocopies of case papers consisting of 97 pages to the appellant.
4. The only issue in the present appeal is about non-supply of the report of the Enquiry Committee submitted by Dr. Vinita Matta, who was appointed to enquire into the treatment given to Smt. Parvati Mahadev Sutar in MbPT Hospital from 13.11.2011 to 17.12.2011. A copy of the report has been denied by the respondent on the grounds that enquiry into the matter, particularly how the incident occurred, was still under enquiry by the Enquiry Committee. The information to the appellant cannot be denied indefinitely on the ground that the matter is still under enquiry even after so long. The Commission hereby directs the CPIO to provide the findings of the report to the appellant free of cost within two weeks of receipt of this order. The matter is disposed of on the part of the Commission with the above directions/observations.
Citation: Mr. Mahadev Tukaram Sutar v. Mumbai Port Trust in Case No. CIC/SS/A/2012/0002474