Appellant: As bank’s authorised officer, he forfeited the sale proceeds of a property auctioned by him; the amount was refunded after his transfer which resulted in a loss to the bank - CIC: Denial u/s 8(1)(e) upheld as no larger public interest involved
This matter pertains to an RTI application dated 10.5.2013 filed by the Appellant, seeking information on eighteen points regarding auction proceeds of Rs. 49.10 lacs forfeited & refunded back to Smt. Sulochana Ramesh in the account of M/s Zen Motors. The CPIO responded on 21.5.2013 and denied the information in terms of section 8 (1) (d) & (e) of the RTI Act. Not satisfied with the response of the Respondents, the Appellant filed second appeal dated 28.9.2013 to the CIC, which was received by the Commission on 3.10.2013.
2. We heard the submissions of the Appellant and the Respondents. The Appellant submitted that as authorised officer of the bank, he forfeited an amount of Rs. 49.10 lacs, being the sale proceeds of a property, auctioned by him and the forfeiture was upheld by DRT also. After his transfer from the branch, the amount was refunded by the bank to Smt. Sulochana Ramesh, which resulted in loss to the bank. The Respondents submitted that the sale of a property is a matter between the bank and the borrower. The amount was refunded to Smt. Sulochana Ramesh, after an OTS was arrived at and as per a High Court order. They further submitted that the FAA in his order dated 10.7.2013 had conveyed the above position to the Appellant. As no larger public interest was involved, the information was denied to the Appellant. On our query to the Appellant, whether he was personally prejudiced in any manner by the bank’s decision, the Appellant submitted that he was seeking information as the bank had lost Rs. 49.10 lacs, which should have gone to the income account of the bank.
3. Having considered the records and the submissions made before us, we note that the Appellant acted only as a representative of the bank in a matter between the bank and the borrower. Therefore, the information sought by him is covered by Section 8 (1) (e) of the RTI Act. The Appellant’s allegation regarding loss to the bank cannot, in our view, become a ground of larger public interest, warranting disclosure of the information sought by him. We, therefore, uphold the decision of the Respondents to deny the information in this case.
4. With the above observations, the appeal is disposed of.
5. Copies of this order be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Shri K S Chandra Mouli v. Union Bank of India in File No. CIC/VS/A/2013/001862/SH