The Punjab and Haryana High Court Monday dismissed a petition which sought details on the religion of Congress president Sonia Gandhi from the Registrar General of Census Operations. A division bench of the high court dismissed the petition of former Haryana police chief P.C. Wadhwa, on whether the registrar general is bound to provide details on the religion and faith of Gandhi and her children under the the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal and Justice Ranjan Gogoi dismissed the plea and ruled that information sought regarding the religion of an individual is ‘entirely personal’.
Wadhwa had sought information on the religion followed by Sonia Gandhi and her children, Priyanka and Rahul Gandhi. He contended that these people were public figures and it was important to know what religion they practiced.Earlier, his application was rejected by the central public information officer (CPIO) of the census department.
Wadhwa later put another appeal before the chief information commissioner (CIC). The application was again rejected by the CIC in 2008.The high court order is likely to clear the air on what information about individuals comes in the private domain, lawyers here said.