Delhi HC upholds Privacy of Travel Information under RTI Act

The Delhi High Court has affirmed that travel information constitutes personal data and cannot be disclosed to third parties under the Right to Information Act, 2005 unless there is a compelling public interest.

Justice Subramonium Prasad reiterated this principle while dismissing a plea filed by Mumbai twin blast case death row convict Ehtesham Qutubuddin Siddiqui, who sought travel details of a witness.

Siddiqui’s request for information on a witness’s travel from Mumbai to Hong Kong was denied by the Central Information Commission (CIC) and the Bureau of Immigration, citing exemptions under the RTI Act.

The CIC ruled that disclosing third-party information fell under Section 8(1)(j) of the Act, which protects personal privacy.

Justice Prasad upheld the CIC’s decision, stating that it was not unreasonable to withhold third-party information. He said that Siddiqui is open to seek the information through appropriate legal channels, such as Section 391 of the CrPC if it was not part of the criminal court record.

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