Many a time Public Information Officer (PIO) denies information to the applicant by calling the information as third party information: sometime to avoid disclosure of information and sometime due to lack of understanding of what does constitute third party information. This makes necessary to understand what does exactly constitute third party information under RTI Act 2005.
What is Third Party under RTI Act 2005?
Section 2(n) of the Right To Information Act, 2005 defines Third Party as “third party” means a person other than the citizen making a request for information and includes a public authority. Let me explain this as below:
First Party: Information Seeker or Applicant.
Second Party: Pubic Authority to whom RTI Application is submitted.
Third Party: Any individual, firm, another government department, NGOs, etc. other than First Party and Second Party.
What is Third Party Information under RTI Act 2005?
Any information pertaining to third party shall be termed as third party information under RTI. Following are the examples of third party information:
- Individual’s medical records held at a government hospital;
- Copies of power bills, etc. held by government authority;
- Passport Number or Permanent Account Number (PAN) of an individual;
- Information of spouse’s locker, etc.
Procedure of disclosing Third Party Information under RTI Act 2005:
Section 11 of the RTI Act provides the procedure for disclosure of third party information. Section 11 (1) of the RTI Act is activated once the PIO intends to disclose to an applicant any information that relates to or has been supplied by a third party and has been treated as confidential by that third party. Once Section 11 (1) of the RTI Act is applicable, the PIO shall follow the notification procedure to the third party to seek objections as to whether such information will be disclosed or not. To know the complete procedure that PIO shall follow to disclose the thitd party information, you may read Procedure to disclose Third Party Information.
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