NEW DELHI: The views of two professors of the National Law University here on their purported "live-in relations" should be disclosed to thwart any rumour mongering about their personal lives, CIC has held.
The strange case came to light following an RTI application by a person claiming to the step-brother of the wife of a Professor at National Law University who alleged that his brother-in-law was in a 'live-in' relation with a fellow Professor at the varsity.
Terming it as amounting to bigamy or adultery, the applicant sought facts of any inquiry conducted in this regard and comments received from his step-sister, her husband and another lady Professor involved in the purported relationship.
When the matter reached Central Information Commission, it emerged that the step-sister of the applicant had categorically told the university that she is no longer married and the applicant is trying to get personal information about her private life and her former husband. She asked the university not to entertain his application.
"He pleaded larger public interest behind his RTI request but did not specify what it was. Nor could he prove any fair motive or need for the same," Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu noted in his order.
Acknowledging that the appellant has no locus standi or any other capacity to complain or to seek personal information, he said the applicant got all the information except the 'comments' of two professors in purported relationship who had claimed that they had "no comments to make on the complaint".
"Disclosure of this 'no comment' of the two faculty members cannot result in any invasion of their privacy. In fact, disclosing these 'comments' will fulfil demand of appellant in one way and protect the dignity of the three persons - appellant's sister and two professors," he said.
The Information Commissioner said the best interest of a prestigious law university, in so far as its law faculty is concerned, lies in the fact that people should not discuss teachers for wrong reasons.
"Such unfounded and unjustified allegations provoke rumour mongers to work overtime, who need to be silenced by disclosure. Best way of countering rumours is publicising truthful information. It is also in best interest of the two faculty members," he said.
Acharyulu said the Commission concludes that larger public interest will be served by disclosure, and interest in disclosure will outweigh the interest in non-disclosure, as per the test prescribed under sub-sections (1) and (2) of Section 8.
In view of the above discussion, the Commission directs the CPIO of NLUD to provide to the appellant certified copies of all three letters viz. representation by step-sister and comments submitted by faculty members in separate letters, he said.