Delhi High Court: Deciding the issue that whether disclosure of personal information of the interviewers of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) selection committee falls within the purview of exceptions provided under Section 8 of the Right to Information Act, 2005 (Act) which deals with exemption from disclosure of information, the Court held that UPSC is a public authority and disclosure of personal information of the employee of the aforesaid authority can be done only if the applicant is able to show that sustainable public interest is involved which in the present case respondent has failed to provide any specific reason as to why such disclosure is necessary for public interest. The Court elaborated that disclosure of personal information invades the right to privacy of a public officer which is a fundamental right in the Constitution. The Court further explained that a fiduciary relationship is established between examinee authority and an examiner/interviewer who expects his name and other particulars would not be disclosed to candidates and general public, therefore such disclosure of such details given in fiduciary capacity to UPSC would be violative of the provisions of the Section 8 (1); (e) of the Act.

In instant case where the counsel for petitioner Naresh Kaushik contended that disclosure of personal information would have caused unwarranted invasion of privacy of the members of the Selection Committee and might also put their life in danger on other hand counsel for respondent Shomona Khanna submitted that under Section 8 the competent authority has to decide whether to disseminate the information while keeping in mind the larger public interest and Central Information Commission has correctly done the same.

The Court also cited the Supreme Court decision on Bihar Public Service Commission v. Saiyad Hussain Abbas Rizvi (2012) 13 SCC 61 and held that disclosure of personal information may endanger the physical safety of an examinerinterviewer who under the apprehension of danger to his life may not able to perform his duties. Union Public Service Commission v. Dr. Mahesh Mangalat, 2015 SCC OnLine Del 8172, decided on 17.03.2015

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