Thursday, May 24, 2018

MCI rejects man’s RTI plea to know right blood group, CIC asks AIIMS to do the needful

Financial Express: New Delhi: Thursday, May 24, 2018.
Rahul Chitra left everyone bewildered when he moved the Central Information Commission after queries by way of an RTI plea regarding his “blood group” to the Medical Council of India (MCI) was rejected on grounds that it seeks to gather the opinion of the Central Public Information Officer “which is not covered under the definition of ‘Information’ under the RTI Act”. Rahul filed the plea after tests threw up different results about his blood group.
Rahul had also attached reports of tests conducted at different government hospitals and private labs which he claimed threw up “completely different results” about his blood group. A few tests revealed his RH factor was positive. However, it was found negative in others, he claimed. Notably, Rhesus (Rh) factor is an inherited protein found on the surface of red blood cells. If a person’s blood has the protein, his/her Rh factor is positive. If blood lacks the protein, Rh is negative. Rh positive is the most common blood type.
Pressing for his demand, Rahul had appeared for hearing before Information Commissioner Yashovardhan Azad. Rahul had informed the commission that he had undergone blood tests at four different pathological labs in Agra and at the district hospital. The tests showed he has two blood types B positive, B negative. He said a test conducted at the Pant Hospital in Delhi showed his blood group was B positive. “If, during an emergency, I require blood transfusion, which blood group would be given to me?” Chitra asked.
Taking cognisance of the issue, the Information Commissioner had noted that the issue raised by the applicant was “serious in nature and pertains to Chitra’s life”. “There is no clarity on Rahul Chitra’s blood group. It’s a serious question as to which blood group should be given to him in case of an emergency. It becomes even more important as the information sought is linked to his Right to Life,” he said.
The Information Commissioner also rejected the MCI’s contention that the question does not come under the definition of “Information” which can be sought under the RTI Act and asked the CPIO to transfer the application to Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences. “AIIMS is a super speciality hospital which conducts research on such special cases. The commission has concluded that AIIMS can do proper inquiry and inform the applicant,” Azad said directing the Director, AIIMS, to do the needful and inform the applicant accordingly.