The provisions of Medical Council of India to protect confidentiality in patients' records cannot override statutes of Right to Information Act, Central Information Commission has held.
Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu held that after RTI Act has come into being, any rules which are not in conformity with the disclosure norms will be overridden by the transparency law.
He said the decision to disclose records of a patient will be taken keeping in mind the provisions of the Right to Information Act.
"The confidentiality required to be maintained in the medical records of a patient including a convict considering the regulations framed by the Medical Council of India cannot override the provisions of the Right to Information Act," Acharyulu said while ordering disclosure of records of mental health of a person whose wife had demanded it.
She had alleged that she was kept in dark about the mental condition of her husband who used to beat her after marriage because of his psychological condition.
The applicant had demanded from Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences the medical records of her husband who was being treated there but the Institute refused it citing confidentiality clause in such records.
"In such cases, a discretion has been conferred on the concerned public information officer to make available information, if satisfied, that the larger public interest justified the disclosure," he said.