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Important orders of CIC regarding the discloser of Medical Records

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sabharwal786

The orders of the CIC are as under :

 

CIC/KY/A/2014/001348SA

3. This is a case where a wife is seeking the information about the medical records of her

husband, who alleged to have physically tortured her due to his mental illness. The appellant and her brother alleged that husband and his relatives have suppressed the truth about his mental health to cheat her into marriage, which proved a hell for her thereafter.

 

4. It is a fact that husband was treated at respondent’s hospital as borne by medical record which she was asking for. Mrs Jyoti Jeena sought for copy of all the papers, documents, records, old reports, case history reports, opinions/advices, prescriptions etc., available in the file/folder maintained by the IHBAS in respect of about Sanjay Singh (husband). The PIO claimed that the information sought being psychiatric medical record of another person and hence exempted under Section 8(1)(e) of the RTI Act 2005.

 

 

Similarly it is the duty of CPIO, First Appellate Authority and Information Commission to examine the right to life of the appellant and public interest in seeking the enforcement of her right to life which include right to divorce under legally permitted circumstances. If the record shows that appellant’s husband ‘has been incurably of unsound mind, or has been suffering continuously or intermittently from mental disorder of such a kind and to such an extent that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent’, she is entitled to relief from that kind of life through divorce. If the disease of her husband falls under any category mentioned in the Explanation under the clause

of Section 13 of Hindu Marriage Act, she will be entitled to justice.

 

Thus there is a larger public interest in demanding the information about medical record of her husband who is treated at respondent authority. The Right of Privacy of husband is an essential component of right to life envisaged by Article 21. The Supreme Court rightly said: The right however, is not absolute and may be lawfully restricted for the prevention of crime, disorder or protection of health or morals or

protection of rights and freedom of others. Hence the appellant is entitled to know the disease her husband is suffering from to protect her right, prevention of crime of cruelty against her. The appellant being wife of the person whose medical reports she is seeking, makes the plea of privacy of the husband weak as she is legitimate family member whose consent will matter when husband cannot decide due to mental illness.

 

the Commission holds that there is a larger public interest that require disclosure of medical records of a patient as mandated under Section 8(1)(j) and directs the respondent authority to furnish the information about the medical records of her husband to the extent she needed to establish the disease he was suffering from, its impact, continuity and incurability or curability, whatever it is along with necessary certified copies to protect her interest/right to secure divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act, to prevent crime of beating or cruelty against her allegedly being perpetrated or apprehended to have been perpetrated by her husband because of mental illness, shall be provided.

CIC_KY_A_2014_001348-SA_M_151923.pdf

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MANOJ B. PATEL

This is a good decision delivered by Mr. Prof.*M.*Sridhar*Acharyulu*(Madabhushi*Sridhar).

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