Appellant sought the photocopy of specimen signatures sheet in respect of bank Account No. 479 pertaining to his wife - Respondent: no separate specimen signatures register was maintained - CIC: PIO directed to confirm the facts to the appellant
1. The appellant, Ms. Sushila Parik, submitted RTI application dated 22 The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 (19 of 1923), and any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act. May 2013 before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Punjab National Bank, Jodhpur seeking information regarding account no. 479 of M/s Deepak Textile Industries in Madanganj Kishangarh branch of the respondent bank etc., through a total of 6 points.
2. Vide reply dated 19 June 2013, CPIO furnished the information on point 1,2 & 3 regarding opening of the account in question etc and denied the information in respect of point no. 4 & 5 stating that at present the record was not available with the branch. Further the CPIO also denied information under point 6 on the ground that the same did not fall under the definition of information u/s 2(f) “information” means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force; of the RTI Act, 2005 Not satisfied by the CPIO’s reply, the appellant preferred an appeal dated 12 July 2013 to the first appellate authority (FAA) alleging that he had been furnished incomplete information by the CPIO concerned. Vide order dated 5 August 2013, FAA while upholding the reply of the CPIO stated that seeking more or less similar information repeatedly would indicate that the applicant is misusing the beneficial provisions of the RTI Act solely with a view to harass the public authority which tendency requires to be curbed.
3. Dissatisfied with the response of the public authority, the appellant preferred appeal before the Commission.
4. The matter was heard by the Commission. The appellant stated that the respondents had not provided photocopy of specimen signatures sheet in respect of Account No. 479 pertaining to his wife. The respondents stated that complete information as per record had been provided by the CPIO vide letter dated 19.6.2013. The said account was opened in the name of the appellant on 26.12.1987 and at that point of time no separate specimen signatures register was maintained by the respondents. The respondents further stated that the appellant had earlier filed various appeals before the Commission on identical issue, which were disposed of by the Commission. In compliance with directions of the Commission dated 19.10.2011 in case No. CIC/SM/A/2010/001533 the respondents filed an affidavit stating that the Bank does not have any other record pertaining to the matter in its possession, and that they did not maintain specimen signatures register in 1987.
5. Having considered the submissions of the parties, the Commission observes that information as per available records had been provided to the appellant by the CPIO vide letter dated 19.6.2013. However, the CPIO is directed to confirm to the appellant that in 1987 no separate specimen signatures register was maintained. The CPIO will comply with the directions of the Commission within one week of receipt of this order. The appeal is disposed of.
Citation: Ms. Sushila Parik v. Punjab National Bank in Appeal: No. CIC/MP/A/2014/000166