Can the RTI Act be invoked for getting a LIC policy back with interest?
The appellant was trying to retrieve his LIC policy from the bank which he had deposited in the bank by way of guarantee in a particular loan case ever since the original borrower settled his loan but without any success. The appellant wanted to know about the action taken by the bank on his several requests since 2007 for returning his LIC policy. Nearly 4 years after the policy matured, the amount was handed over to him without any interest for this period.
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The Respondent admitted that all this happened because the loan account had been closed way back in 2002 and that the manual records of the branch had been computerized and, in the process, the LIC policy was lost sight of. The respondent agreed that the bank should pay the amount of interest which would have accrued otherwise had the policy amount been given to the Appellant in 2007 when the policy had matured. The Commission observed that the denial of information entitles the appellant for compensation but as the Respondent agreed to make good the loss of interest to the Appellant, the Commission did not pass any order on the compensation. The Commission held that the bank must pay him the interest at the highest applicable rate for the relevant period. The Commission further held that if the bank goes back on its assurance given by the respondent, the appellant will be free to approach the CIC again for payment of compensation for the harassment and loss he has suffered on account of the denial of information.
Citation: Shri Naveen Chander Choudhary v. Central Bank in file no.CIC/SM/A/2011/000060