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CIC exempts medical tests from disclosure

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CIC exempts medical tests from disclosure

 

New Delhi, October 30: The Central Information Commission (CIC) has held that information on a medical test or diagnostic procedure is exempted from disclosure under the RTI Act as it amounts to invasion of privacy and breach of trust.

 

Upholding the decision of the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) in not revealing the details of DNA test done on a person, who did not make the request for such a test, Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said such information can only be supplied by the party concerned directly and not by the institution or confidant who holds the information in trust.

 

The Commission’s order came on the appeal of Arjesh Kumar Madhok of Jhansi, who made an application under the RTI Act to the CDFD Hyderabad, seeking information regarding a DNA test allegedly done in respect of his son, who was in his wife’s custody. He also wanted to know the name of the doctor who referred of the test and the purpose for conducting such a test.

 

The CDFD declined to provide information on the grounds that the tests were not conducted at his request and the CDFD is required to maintain the confidentiality of the tests and the same can be disclosed only to those individuals and organisations which have approached for such tests. Further, the information sought was of a personal nature, which would cause unwarranted invasion of privacy of the individual and is exempted from disclosure under the RTI Act .

 

The CIC said that information concerning results of DNA test or any medical report cannot be revealed to a party other than the one who has obtained them as it is protected by a relationship of trust. “The relationship between a doctor and patient or a lawyer and client falls squarely within the definition of fiduciary relations. The RTI Act itself provides that the information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship is protected from disclosure. The disclosure of diagnostic information can only be supplied by the party concerned directly and not by the confidante, in this case the CDFD,” the order said.

 

IndianExpress.com :: CIC exempts medical tests from disclosure

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    • Shrawan
      By Shrawan
      Central Information Commission



      Decision No. 294/IC(A)/2006
      F.No.CIC/MA/A/2006/00336
      Dated, the 21st Sep., 2006



      Name of the Appellant : Shri Om Prakash Agarwal, 25, Strand Road, 723, Marshall House, Kolkata-700001.
      Name of the Public Authority : The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, ICAI Bhavan, Indraprastha marg, P.B. No.7100, New Delhi-110002. DECISION
       
      Facts:
      The appellant had sought certain information which are furnished by the member companies and are available with the respondent in fiduciary capacity.
      The CPIO has denied the information on the ground that the information sought has no relation with public action or interest. The CPIO has also mentioned that the appellant has filed a complaint against the companies whose information are being sought. He has therefore contended that disclosure of information would impede the process of investigation. He has thus soughtexemption u/s 8(1) (h) of the Act. Commission’s Decision:
      Information sought relate to the personal information of third parties, the disclosure of which do not fall under public domain. As such, there is no overriding public interest in disclosure of information sought, which is exempt u/s 8(1) (j) of the Act.
      The appeal is accordingly disposed of.
      Sd/-
      (Prof. M.M. Ansari)
      Information Commissioner
      Download the decision from Download segment


       

    • Shrawan
      By Shrawan
      The Apex court has observed that "disclosure of information in regard to the functioning of the government must be the rule, and secrecy, an exception justified only where the strictest requirement of public interest so demands "

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