This commission maintains that the records pertaining to transfers/sales of plots are public records though these records may contain some private information which can be easily withheld while making these records public.
As the government collects taxes on the sale/purchase of these plots, citizens have the right to know whether these plots are sold according to the market value, or, plots are sold below the market value for the purpose of tax evasion.
This commission has observed that public officials have limited understanding about right to privacy when juxtaposed with the right of access to information held by public bodies. Privacy/personal information is understood to be, broadly speaking, information/data pertaining to access control (username and/or password), financial information such as bank account, credit card, debit card, or other payment instruments, and, passports, biometric data, and physical, psychological, and mental health conditions, medical records, and any detail pertaining to an individual’s ethnicity, religious beliefs etc.
The Act, 2017 envisages a situation wherein a document, which should be otherwise be made public but its parts may contain private information. In such an eventuality, the part containing private information can be severed from the document as mentioned in Section 16 (1) (i) of the Act, 2017 and the rest should be made public.