HC quashes order seeking intercaste couple’s details

Justice N Anand Venkatesh hearing the petition noted that if the certificates were given by the public information officer, it will tantamount to providing third party information to the petitioner.
Madras High Court
Madras High Court

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court recently quashed the order of an information Officer with the Tiruvannamalai employment office, who rejected an Right to Information (RTI) application, for seeking the certificate details of the inter-caste couples that registered for jobs under the inter-caste couples’ quota.

In August 2013, the information officer sought details such as the name of the persons registered with Tiruvannamalai employment office under special category of inter-caste marriage (ICM) between March and May 2010, along with their registration numbers.

Besides this, the information officer also requested the Tiruvannamalai employment office to furnish the copy of the certificates provided by the persons during registration. The officer clarified needing the details to check the authenticity of the claims by the candidates applying for the job.

However, in the RTI reply, the district officer refused to provide certificates of the persons noting it as personal information.

Justice N Anand Venkatesh hearing the petition noted that if the certificates were given by the public information officer, it will tantamount to providing third party information to the petitioner. And such information cannot be provided without putting the owners of the certificates to notice.

The bench further noted, “The candidates would not want the entire world to know the caste or community to which they belong as even today, there is a social taboo on the basis of caste. Providing the details of the candidate’s spouse will certainly be considered as private information.”

The court lastly announced that it does not find it fit to interfere in the decision taken to deny the copy of certificates by the officer and dismissed the writ petition.

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