CIC denies directing RBI to disclose bank defaulters list in view of pending case before Supreme Court.

CIC denies directing RBI to disclose bank defaulters list in view of pending  case before  Supreme Court. It would be judicious to await the final outcome-CIC 

CIC denies directing RBI to disclose bank defaulters list

ABCAUS Case Law Citation:
ABCAUS 1263 (2017) (05) CIC

Date/Month of Pronouncement: May, 2017

Important Case Laws Cited/relied upon:
Central  for  Public  Interest Litigation Vs. Housing & Urban Development Corp. Ltd. & Ors.  

RBI Vs. Jayantilal N. Mistry

Brief Facts of the Case:
In 2013, one appellant namely, Shri Subhash Chandra Agrawal had made a RTI application to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) inter alia seeking list of bank-defaulters of public sector banks  with  outstanding above  rupees  one  crore  each,  mentioning  names  of directors/partners etc. of such defaulting companies/firms.

However, RBI had denied such information on the ground that the same is held in fiduciary capacity and is exempt from disclosure u/s 8(1)(a), (d) and (e) of the RTI Act.

The first appellate authority (FAA) upheld the order of CPIO, RBI. Aggrieved  with  the  decision  of  the  FAA, the respondent approached the Commission in second appeal.

The matter was earlier heard by the Single Bench but it was considered appropriate to refer the cases to a larger Bench, Hence, a Division Bench of the Commission  was  constituted.

Observation made by CIC:
The CIC  observed that in  a case where the petitioner requested to make public the names of defaulters in excess of Rs. 500 crores from different institutions, the Hon’ble Supreme Court in 2016 held as under

“The Government has therefore acting in right  earnest set  up a  Committee  to  look into the nature and extent of the problem and the proposed reforms.  The Committee, we are told has already held several meetings  and is about to finalize its report with recommendations. It will, therefore, not be proper at this stage to prevent  the Committee from taking  the  proceedings  to  their  logical  conclusion  especially  when the recommendations to be made by the Committee are  subject  to scrutiny  of  this Court as a/so of the. petitioners. As regards the Government’s resolve to reform the statutory and other mechanism for recovery of the NPAs through the DRT and SARFAESI Act we direct that comprehensive  note  indicating  the  Government’s action plan in that direction may be filed, if so advised in a sealed  cover for  the perusal of this Court.

It was held that since  a  similar  issue  is  pending  adjudication  before  the  Hon’ble Supreme Court, it would be judicious to await the final outcome from the Hon’ble Supreme Court. However, on receipt of the final outcome of the judgment, , the appellant shall be at liberty to file a second appeal afresh, if he so desires.

CIC denies directing RBI to disclose bank defaulters list

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