Can information regarding the lease of a building of a Bank be disclosed under RTI?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the State Bank of Travancore (SBT) seeking information regarding the lease of a building. The applicant was not satisfied by the response provided by the Public Information Officer (PIO) and filed the first appeal. The First Appellate Authority (FAA) denied the information under 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 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, stating it is third party information.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the respondent stated that the RTI application had been occasioned because the bank was shifting its premises from one building to another building and the appellant had sought information about the new building. A copy of the letter which the concerned bank branch had written to the promoter of the new building was denied on grounds of third party information holding that the appellant was not connected in any way with the promoter of the new building. The names of the concerned parties between whom the correspondence took place were also denied on the same ground.
View of CIC
The Commission agreed with the decision of FAA and rejected the appeal.
Citation: Ms. Kiran C Mathew v. State Bank of Travancore in Decision No.CIC/DS/A/2011/004327/VS/02484
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1166
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission