New Delhi: Medico-legal case reports cannot be strictly categorised as personal information and withheld from disclosure, the Central Information Commission has said while allowing victims of an accident to access reports of other injured persons in the same mishap.
"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," Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said in his order.
The case related to RTI request by Satbir Singh, who lost his son in an accident. Through RTI application he had demanded medico-legal reports of other persons who were also injured in the same accident.
Rao Tula Ram Memorial Hospital provided partial reply to the queries posed by him and did not disclose medico-legal reports of two other injured saying their views have been sought for disclosing details as it was a personal information under the RTI Act.
But even after an year, the two accused persons did not give clearance for disclosing the reports about them when Singh approached the Commission with plea.
"In this case all the injured persons are involved in same accident, they could be 'accused' and their negligence or innocence need to be established in the court of law. Hence, MLC and related information cannot be treated as third party information or personal information," Acharyulu said.
He said there is public interest in giving such information to the father of the deceased for whatever worth it is for him, in the interests of criminal justice.
"If the disclosure of this information to the appellant impedes investigation in any manner, only then the information can be withheld," he said asking the hospital to take view from the police station concerned on disclosure.