No disclosure of details of locker to the legal heir
The appellant sought information regarding a locker in Punjab & Sind Bank in the name of the mother and father of the appellant. The appellant submitted that the mother of the appellant has died and he is the class I legal heirs as per law and the property in locker and money in the account belongs to him. The applicant wanted to know that the number of times the father of the applicant had operated the aforesaid locker after 17.05.2003 and the certified copies of the entries with regard to operation of the aforesaid locker. The PIO denied the information by claiming exemption under 8 (1) (d) and 8 (1) (j) of the RTI Act. The FAA rejected the appeal under section 8(1)(d)(e) & (j) of the RTI Act holding that account was opened under clause to be operated upon by either or survivor and there in no nomination in the mentioned locker account. Moreover, in terms of banking regulation Act, 1949 banks are under legal obligation to maintain secret of customer’s account.
View of the CIC
The Commission noted that the appellant has sought information about the transactions with a customer of the bank. The Commission held that in the instant case, very clearly a fiduciary relationship exists, since customers of a Bank come to it because of the implicit trust they have; and they provide information to the Bank for their own benefit. Customers also have a choice of which bank they wish to approach. Hence unless a large public interest is shown the information is exempted from disclosure.
The level of importance which should be given to the fiduciary information is very high. Such information should not be disclosed without an overriding public interest.
Citation: Mr. Yadwinder Singh v. Punjab & Sind Bank in Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2011/002690/16128