Medico-legal reports cannot be refused under the RTI Act, the CIC has held saying unlike normal medical cases, they are not prepared at the instance of the patient but are legal requirement.“Medico legal cases (MLCs) are indeed legal requirements in criminal cases and not prepared at the instance of the patient but to record injuries inflicted on a person, to be used by courts in criminal proceedings and hence are not held in fiduciary relation with the patient and that refusal of information under Section 8(1)(e) is unsustainable,” Information Commissioner Annapurna Dixit said.
Her observation followed a request by petitioner, Raj Kumar, who had sought from Safdarjang Hospital the medico- legal reports prepared in February 2000 about patients brought by the police in criminal cases.
The hospital contended that since the information sought involves a third party and held in a fiduciary relation with the patient, it cannot be given to him.
Kumar said before CIC that the reports are prepared by the hospital as a “state function” for record of injuries inflicted on a body of a person during criminal cases and used by the state police or prosecution in legal proceedings and hence cannot be said to be in fiduciary relationship, he said.
The CIC directed the hospital to provide information in all the cases except one where the patient had objected to disclosure of information.