If the PIO discloses personal information?

The Appellant filed an online RTI application seeking the information about the names of sponsored students and their sponsoring organisations who completed their M.Tech from Department of Computer Science and Engineering of IIT Kharagpur during 1983 - 2019. Part of the information was provided while it was informed that the remaining data is not available. The CIC observed that it is personal information of third parties and ignoring this aspect the CPIO has erred in giving the details of said students through his first reply without seeking consent of such students under Section 11 of RTI Act. The CPIO was advised to exercise due diligence and follow due process of law as per the RTI Act while divulging the third party’s personal information to the applicants.


An overenthusiastic (ignorant?) PIO may not follow the procedure and disclose personal information of third party. Such an act may lead to loss or detriment to the third party for which a compensation may be claimed. It calls for regular training of the PIO and FAA as such mistakes are being done by a large number of officers.

Citation: Har Sukhdeep Singh v. Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur in File No: CIC/IITKH/A/2020/106698; Date of Decision: 21/09/2021

Dr. Anuradha Verma ( 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:

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