Mr Satbir Singh father of Anil Kumar who died in an a motor vehicle accident on 13.7.2013. Three persons - Mr Naveen, Mr Vikas, Mr Monu were also injured in this accident. Father on 31.8.2013 sought under RTI copies of MLC four injured persons, number of Vans, ambulances attached with the Hospital, copy of registration slip of injured and their medical treatment records. The PIO sought objections or permission of Mr Naveen Mr Vikas and Mr Monu about MLC report, etc. Mr Naveen communicated no objection while others did not write. CPIO gave photocopies of MLC of Navin and Anil. The CPIO claimed the exemption of section 8(1)(j) to deny MLCs of Vikas and Monu. First Appellate Authority also refused to give the MLC report, while giving other. PIO claimed that these cases were under investigation by police.
This being an accident case wherein the son of appellant died, and the legal actions are under way to secure compensation and adjudication on allegations of negligence, the MLC and related record would be highly relevant to the appellant-father of the deceased son which indicate public interest. The denial of MLC and other medical record of two injured persons in the same accident who were driving motor vehicle which collided with the other, would be improper and valid under the RTI Act. The Commission noticed that CPIO did not complete the process of securing clearances from third parties.
The CIC Sridhar Acharyulu in an earlier case No.CIC/AD/A/2013/000778-SA dated 13/6/2014 saying…”every medico-legal report is not a public document. Especially when related to prosecution of criminal charges the disclosure of those documents depend upon several legal provisions. These medico-legal case records are not prepared at the instance of the accused or patient, but were made for the legal requirements of criminal justice system”.
Since Mr Anil Kumar is deceased, the criminal case against him cannot continue. As the ‘negligence’ or otherwise of other users of vehicle is not known, the investigating officer might have decided to investigate and prosecute the case. In any eventuality the MLC reports and other records assume importance in establishing negligence or otherwise, which will be useful for claiming insurance money by the injured persons and deceased person. As all the injured persons are involved in an accident could be ‘accused’ and their negligence or innocence need to be established in court of law. Hence MLC and related information about cannot be treated as third party information or personal information. Hence, CIC Prof M Sridhar Acharyulu opined that it should be given to the appellant father of the deceased son, for whatever worth it is for him and for criminal justice system. However the Commissioner directed CPIO to consult the investigating police officer and examine his objections if any and decide whether to give or not based on the ‘public interest’.
(Entire process should be completed within one month from the date of receipt of this order). (Satbir Singh vs Rao Tula Ram Memorial Hospital GNCTD, Delhi No.CIC/SA/A/2014/000072, decided on 25th November 2014)