Circulars applicable to the education loan granted by bank & delivered to the wards of general public were denied u/s 8(1)(d) claiming that disclosure of internal guidelines would harm the competitive position of the bank – CIC: Provide it
1. The appellant, Shri Chattra Pal Singh submitted RTI application dated 11.01.2014 before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), State Bank of India (SBI), Bareilly seeking certified copies of circulars applicable to the education loan granted and delivered to the wards of general public w.e.f. January 2001 to December, 2012.
2. The CPIO vide letter dated 22.02.2014 informed the appellant that education loan to the wards of staff was sanctioned on the same terms and conditions as prescribed for public except a few relaxations. The copies of the respective circulars were also provided to the appellant. Dissatisfied with the reply of the CPIO, the appellant filed an appeal dated on 11.04.2014 before the first appellate authority (FAA). The FAA vide order dated 05.07.2014 while upholding the reply of the CPIO held that bank’s internal guidelines/circulars as required were of commercial confidence the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of the bank, hence exempt under the provisions of 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.
3. Thereafter the appellant filed the present appeal before the Commission.
4. The matter was heard by the Commission. The appellant’s representative stated that the circulars issued by the bank were in the interest of the customers, disclosure of which may not harm in any way the competitive position of the bank. The respondents stated that the terms and conditions of education loan had been informed to the appellant during his personal visit at their branch.
5. Having considered the submissions of the parties, the Commission directs the CPIO to provide copy of circulars of 2001 and latest circulars of 2012 which are issued for disseminating information for grant of education loan to the ward of the general public to the appellant. The CPIO will comply with the directions of the Commission within one weeks of receipt of this order. The appeal is disposed of.
Citation: Shri Chattra Pal Singh v. State Bank of India in Appeal: No. CIC/MP/A/2014/002273
No. CIC/MP/A/2014/002274 No. CIC/MP/A/2014/002275