Are the audit reports of commercial entities liable to be disclosed under RTI?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the State Bank of India (SBI) seeking information relating to a fraud in a particular branch of the bank. The Public Information Officer (PIO) informed the appellant that the audit report of commercial entities was exempt from disclosure under section 8(1)(d) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information; of the RTI Act and hence the information cannot be provided.
View of CIC
The Commission observed that the approach taken by the respondent is in conformity with the RTI Act. The CIC rejected the appeal holding that no further action in the matter is required.
A plea of public interest may be sustainable in a few such cases.
Citation: Mr. K. K. Misra v. State Bank of India in Decision No. CIC/VS/A/2012/000165/03000
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1307
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