Your Passport information can be divulged through RTI!


This piece of news has left me shocked – According to a news appearing in ToI yesterday, Indian Central Information Commission (CIC) has said that an Individual’s passport information could be disclosed under the Right to Information Act (RTI Act).

Essentially, what this means is – All your demographic information including address, education, travel details etc can be handed over to 3rd party if he/she files for an RTI for that information. According to me, this is serious invasion of privacy and something that should not be allowed.


This information came out relating to a RTI filed by Anita Singh, who wanted information which included passport details and copies of Ajeet Singh ( Indian ex-cabinet minister) while applying for passport. Although, the external affairs ministry did not disclose the details. The reason offered was that this information cannot be disclosed without taking views from the involved party.

Now, there are definitely gray areas on this subject. Let me be clear that ToI article does not detail on what grounds this information could be passed on to third party. However, CIC commissioner was quoted saying “There are some extraordinary situations where the state may be allowed to invade the privacy of a citizen”.

I do not have objection for release of information, if the RTI is filed regarding travels being done on Government expenses or divulging residential information if the concerned person is living in Government property. However, giving out any information about a person not relating to Government is a strict no-no.

Would love to hear your thought on this!

  1. Amritpal Singh says

    We want to know the passport number of an accused who is involved in many fraud cases across India. He is presently in jail, and not giving his passport details to police. We have a strong feeling, he will flee the country if he gets released on bail. So my question is, can we get his passport details through RTI, so as to stop his movement from all Indian ports.

  2. suraj says

    Your parents decided to keep you name as an one word name and not give you surname.You don’t have a surname in your educational certificates, in your passport,Indian Driving licence,Pan card etc…What happens when you apply for US visa??

  3. Niranjan Patil says

    Information on non-personal govt data can be given out without the custodian or owners consent, provided the application is in order and the information officer agrees to it. But it's different when it comes to 'personal information' of a govt employee or non-govt individual which the govt is custodian or the owner.
    The applicant should provide significant reason for asking personal information like in public interest, investigation by statutory body, etc. The Information officer should take the consent of the individual involved and then can decide himself.
    Thousands of people in the country seek personal or private information through RTI in divorce cases, civil/criminal court proceedings or for personal gain/investigations. Needless to say most of them get rejected.

    1. Anirban Dasgupta says

      OMG this is too much..

    2. Anirban Dasgupta says

      OMG this is too much..

    3. Arun Prabhudesai says

      Thanks Niranjan for the Info…

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