March 09, 2007

Medical reports can be disclosed under RTI

The State Information Commission has ruled that the medical reports of former Maharashtra Minister Surup Singh Naik when he was in state-run J J hospital during his one-month prison term can be disclosed under the Right to Information Act.

Social activist Shailesh Gandhi had applied to the hospital in May last year, seeking Naik's medical records. Naik, the former Forest Minister, was sentenced to one month's imprisonment by the Supreme Court last year for defying its orders to close down illegal saw mills.

But he immediately got himself admitted to J J Hospital after complaining of chest pain, and spent most of the sentence there.

Gandhi's request to J J Hospital's public information officer under the RTI to obtain Naik's medical reports was denied. He then filed an appeal before Chief Information Commissioner Suresh Joshi.

Joshi heard the matter and referred it to a four-member bench comprising himself and three other information commissioners. The bench yesterday decided that the information should be revealed.

Authorities at J J Hospital have been ordered to give the relevant information within seven days.


Dhirenda said...

Abuse of hospital facility by the persons expected to be in prison is a very serious matter. This is done by undue political power or by paying bribes.

It can be minimized, if the Hospital Authorities are required to suo moto disclose such cases under section 4(2) of the RTI Act. Such public disclosure may put a check on corrupt practices.

Prahalathan said...

True... It's a good thing



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