As the appellant has failed to provide the authenticity of the thumb impression of the loan account holder in question, the information was denied - CIC took a serious view of the absence of PIO during the hearing & sought his explanation
Date of Hearing : 02nd December, 2016
Date of Decision : 19th December, 2016
1. The appellant, Shri Kunwar Singh’s representative, Shri Chandrashekhar Kargeti, sent RTI application to the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), State Bank of India, Nainital seeking certified photocopies of the loan application, personal identity proof, and account statements, etc., in relation to agricultural loan account 01572050611, obtained from SBI, Udham Singh Nagar branch, through six points.
2. The CPIO intimated the appellant that he had not submitted any proof of identity which indicated that the appellant was the account-holder’s representative. Therefore, the information sought was denied u/s 8(1)(j) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual unless the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information: Provided that the information which cannot be denied to the Parliament or a State Legislature shall not be denied to any person. of the RTI Act as it related to third party information. Dissatisfied, the appellant approached the first appellate authority (FAA). The FAA vide order dated 24.02.2016 while upholding the decision of the CPIO held that the appellant had contended that the provisions of Section 11 of the RTI Act were not followed. The FAA held that provisions of Section 11 of the RTI Act applicable only when the CPIO intends to part with the information which related to the third party. Since the appellant sought information on behalf of other person whose thumb impression was affixed on the application in order to check the veracity of the thumb impression, the CPIO requested the appellant to provide a document certifying the thumb impression of the account holder in respect of whose loan account the information was sought. The same was not provided by the appellant.
3. Aggrieved with the response of the FAA, the appellant came in appeal before the Commission.
4. The matter was heard by the Commission. The appellant stated that he sought information on behalf of Shri Chandrashekhar Kargeti, after taking his thumb impression, as he lived in a remote area and also an illiterate person but the respondents denied information being third party information. He also stated that the Indian Postal Order sent by him was returned which indicated that the respondent authority did not want to provide the information sought by him. The respondents were not present in spite of a notice of hearing having been sent to them.
5. Having considered the submissions of the appellant and perused the documents on file, the Commission holds that the information as sought by the appellant cannot be provided under the provisions of Section 8(1)(e) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information; and (j) of the RTI Act, as the appellant has failed to provide the authenticity of the thumb impression of the loan account holder in question. The Commission upholds the decision of the FAA. The Commission takes a serious view of the CPIO not attending the hearing. The CPIO is, therefore, directed to submit his explanation to the Commission, giving reasons for not attending the hearing, within two weeks of the receipt of the order of the Commission.
Citation: Shri Kunwar Singh v. State Bank of India, Nainital in CIC/MP/A/2016/001327