Delhi High Court Stays CIC Order Which Allowed Information From Passport Office Under RTI

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On 25th June, Delhi HC stayed the order passed by the Central Information Commission. The Central Public Information Officer of the Passport Office was directed to give the information. The Respondent filed the RTI application for her husband’s information in the case of Ministry of External Affairs v Amrita Sachin Waman.

Brief Facts of the Case

The Single Bench of Justice Navin Chawla issued the notice to the Respondent. It was held that there shall be a stay on the operation of the said Order till the next date of hearing.  The Ministry of External Affairs filed the writ petition. The petition was against the order dated 15/05/20 passed by the CIC. Earlier the Passport Office was directed to provide a piece of third-party information under an RTI application.

Petitioner’s Submission

The issue before the Court for consideration is – “WhetherCPIC can divulge documents and information submitted by a passport applicant. Whether the office can give information under the RTI Act, though there is no public interest. Also, whether there is an exemption under Section 8(1 )(j) of the RTI Act.”

The petitioner claimed that the court has a view that passport information cannot get disclosed. An RTI applicant cannot access any document a passport applicant has submitted for issuance of a passport with the Passport Authority. In the present matter, an RTI application moved by the Respondent. It seeks information on both her own as well as her husband. The Respondent and her husband are currently in a matrimonial dispute.

Court’s Observation

Earlier the CPIO of the Passport Office refused to provide the personal information of her husband.

Aggrieved by this, the Respondent moved the First Appellate Authority. But it ruled against the Respondent. The Respondent then moved the CIC. The CIC passed its order in her favour. It directed the CPIO to divulge information. An RTI application moved by the Respondent related to the Respondent’s husband information.

The Petitioner challenged the said order in this writ petition. 

Court’s Order

The Delhi High Court has stayed the order of the Central Information Commission. Further, the Court will hear the matter on August 13. 


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