CIC allows disclosure of phone details in a special case

NEW DELHI: The CIC has directed Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited to disclose mobile phone details of a particular number from which an RTI applicant had alleged that he was getting threatening calls and vulgar SMS’s.

Though RTI Act mentions that phone records are personal details and hence cannot be accessed by a second person, the decision directing the BSNL to part with information to the applicant was taken given the special nature of the case.

Surender Singh Kachhwaha, a resident of Kanpur had filed an RTI application with the Chief Public Information Officer of BSNL, Unnav, seeking information related to a particular mobile bearing number 9454059213.

Information Commissioner, CIC, Annapurna Dixit said, “The appellant stated that he had written to various officials including District Magistrate, Kanpur and Inspector General of Police about SMSs threatening him and about vulgar SMS’s sent by the subscriber between December 29, 2008 and January 15, 2009.”

“No one bothered to help him. He also tried to file an FIR at Pheel police station but the police too refused to lodge the FIR,” she said. “The Commission after hearing both sides and in the light of the fact that no authority responsible for maintaining law and order came forward to help the appellant, directs the CPIO to provide the information to him,” Dixit said.

Kachhwaha had filed an RTI application asking the BSNL to provide him information related to the ID of the subscriber, date of sale of the SIM Card, the IMEI number of the set from where the SIM was activated, the call details and the SMS details relating to the said number.

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The CPIO and the first appellate authority had rejected the RTI application on the ground that the mobile connection was not in the name of the appellant. Being repeatedly denied information by the respondent authority a second appeal was filed before the CIC by the applicant.

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