Observing that giving details of individual medical bills of Supreme Court judges under RTI would “amount to invasion of their privacy”, the Delhi High Court on Friday dismissed a plea seeking details of medical reimbursements of Supreme Court judges under the RTI Act.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Deepa Sharma in its judgment on a plea by RTI activist Subhash Chandra Aggarwal has held that there was no larger public interest involved in seeking details of medical facilities availed by individual judges and “no direction whatsoever” could be issued under the Right to Information Act.
The RTI activist, in its plea through advocate Prashant Bhushan had approached the division bench in appeal against a decision of a single judge of the high court, which had overturned a CIC decision directing the SC to provide such details under RTI.
The Supreme Court registry, through senior Advocate Siddharth Luthra, had argued that the information was not within the purview of the RTI Act. “The information sought by appellant includes details of the medical facilities availed by individual judges. The same being personal information, we are of the view that providing such information would undoubtedly amount to invasion of their privacy,”it said.
“…we are unable to understand how the public interest requires disclosure of the details of the medical facilities availed by the individual judges. In the absence of any such larger public interest, no direction whatsoever can be issued under the RTI Act by the appellate authorities,” it said.
The court also noted in its six-page judgment that “the total expenditure incurred for the medical treatment of the judges for the period in question was already furnished by the Central Public Information Officer by his letter dated August 30, 2011, and “it is not the case of the appellant that the said expenditure is excessive or exorbitant”.