After the death of the borrower, his legal heir sold the property provided as security to the bank against the said loans - CIC: All determinations about disclosure of any information relating to an ongoing prosecution should be through the Trial Court
These files contain appeals in respect of two RTI applications, both dated 15.3.2013, filed by the Appellant, seeking information on various points. Not satisfied with the response of the Respondents, he has approached the CIC in second appeal in both the cases.
2. With regard to the RTI application dated 15.3.2013 (File No. CIC/SH/A/2014/000501), the Appellant stated that the information has been denied without any justification. The Respondents submitted that the Appellant is the heir of a person who had two loan accounts with the bank, which became NPA. After the death of the borrower, his legal heir illegally sold the property, which was provided as security to the bank against the above loans. The bank filed an FIR against the Appellant, the matter has gone to a court and a chargesheet has been filed. The Respondents stated that the information sought by the Appellant is connected to the court case and justified its denial under Section 8 (1) (d) and (h) of the RTI Act. In the above context, we note the following observations made by the Commission in its order No. CIC/AT/A/2008/01238 dated 7.6.2010:“
In our view, an information which is evidence or is related to evidence in an ongoing prosecution comes under the control of the Trial Court within the meaning of Section 2 (j) of the RTI Act, which states as follows: CIC/ “right to information” means the right to information accessible under this Act which is held by or under the control of any public authority and includes the right to.....” “The word “under the control of” implies that the information, regardless of which public authority holds it, is under the control of a specific public authority on whose orders alone it can be produced in a given proceeding. In the present case, the material sought by the appellant is undoubtedly related to an ongoing court proceeding and hence it can be rightly said to be under the control of the Trial Court, who alone can decide how the information is to be dispensed. Any action under the RTI Act or any other Act for disclosure of that information to the very party who is arraigned before the Trial Court or to anyone representing that party, would have the effect of interfering with the discretion of the Court, thereby impeding an extant prosecution proceeding.”
In the above order, the Commission also observed: “It is, therefore, important that all determinations about disclosure of any information relating to an ongoing prosecution should be through the agency of the Trial Court and not otherwise.” In the light of the foregoing, we would not interfere with the decision of the Respondents to deny the information in this case.
3. Regarding the RTI application dated 15.3.2013 (File No. CIC/SH/A/2014/000499), the Appellant once again submitted that the information has been denied without any justification. The Respondents reiterated their decision to deny the information. Having considered the submissions made before us, we find no justification for denial of the information in this case. However, we note that at point 3 (a), the Appellant has sought information regarding names of advocates on the panel of the bank during the long period from 1.1.1990 till 15.3.2013. The CPIO is directed to provide such information in this regard, as is readily available on the records of the Respondents. With regard to point 3 (b), the CPIO is directed to provide a copy of the rules, if any, regarding the issue mentioned in this query. With regard to the queries at 3 (c) (i) to (vii), the CPIO is directed to provide only the names of the advocates appointed by the bank in the cases mentioned therein. All the above information should be provided by the CPIO only after satisfying himself that the Appellant is indeed the legal heir of the deceased borrower. Subject to the above, the information should be provided free of cost, within thirty days of the receipt of this order, under intimation to the Commission.
4. With the above directions and observations, the appeal is disposed of.
5. Copies of this order be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Shri Gajanan Purushottamji Agrawal v. Central Bank of India in File No. CIC/SH/A/2014/000501 File No. CIC/SH/A/2014/000499