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Marital status mentioned by wife in the bank account opening form

The appellant requested for status mentioned by his wife in the bank account opening form regarding her marital status like whether Single/ Married/ Separated/ Divorcee as a matrimonial dispute between the appellant and his wife was pending before the Hon’ble Family Court. In the second appeal, he stated that he is husband of Mrs. Nisha and has every right to know about the marital status of his spouse which could be decisive factor in deciding the maintenance order. The CIC held that the basic protection afforded by virtue of the exemption from disclosure enacted under Section 8(1)(j) cannot be lifted or disturbed by a private dispute between husband and wife, unless the petitioner is able to justify how such disclosure would be in ‘public interest’.

Comments

A delicate balance has to be maintained between the transparency and the fundamental right to privacy. Whenever there is a conflict between two rights, the same have to be reconciled and harmony has to be maintained.

Citation: Keshav Anand v. Bank of Baroda in Second Appeal No. CIC/DENAB/A/2019/107456, Date of decision: 16.04.2021

Dr. Anuradha Verma (dranuradhaverma@yahoo.co.in) is an expert on RTI matters and has co-authored the books RIGHT TO INFORMATION - LAW AND PRACTICE and PIO’s guide to RTI. Apart from her weekly article here, her other articles can be read at the website of RTI Foundation of India at the link: www.rtifoundationofindia.com

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