Can a bank deny details of company’s account under RTI to the proprietor?
The appellant was a proprietor of a company. He filed an application under Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking information related to the account of his company. The Public Information Officer (PIO) denied the information 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. During the hearing, the appellant stated that a fraud has been committed by someone who has opened an account in the name of his proprietary and fraudulently deposited a cheque of Rs. 2,15,620/- drawn in his favour by another company. He also claimed that a criminal action has been undertaken in this regard.
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The Central Information Commission (CIC) observed that ordinarily the information about a customer of the bank is held in a fiduciary capacity by the bank but the peculiar nature of this case shows that larger public interest would be served by disclosure of information and this would outweigh any harm to any protected interest. The Commission directed the PIO to provide the information noting that, if the contentions of the appellant are correct then, information should be provided as per the provisions of section 8(2) Notwithstanding anything in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 (19 of 1923) nor any of the exemptions permissible in accordance with sub-section (1), a public authority may allow access to information, if public interest in disclosure outweighs the harm to the protected interests. of the RTI Act.
Citation: Mr. Vipan Kumar Gupta v. Andhra Bank & Zonal office in Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2012/001150/19185
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/441
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