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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