Claiming that the appellant is an executive member of the Sree Gurudeva Charitable & Ed. Trust, information about a loan taken from bank was sought - Bank: trust deed does not have the name of appellant as trustee / Executive Member - CIC denial upheld
1. The appellant, Shri K. Gopalkrishnan, submitted RTI application dated 19 September 2012 before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Punjab National Bank, Mavelikara; seeking information regarding details of loan taken by Sree Gurudeva Charitable & Educational Trust, Kattachira, Pallickal etc., through a total of 6 points.
2. Vide reply dated 29 November 2013, CPIO denied the information to the appellant u/s 13(1) of the Banking Companies Acquisition and Transfer of undertaking Act, 1970 and Ss. 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; , (e) & (j) & section 11 of the RTI Act, 2005. Not satisfied with the CPIO’s replies, the appellant preferred appeal dated 4 December 2012 to the first appellate authority (FAA) alleging that he had been wrongly denied the information by the CPIO concerned. No order has been passed by the FAA in this case.
3. Not satisfied with the response of the public authority, the appellant preferred second appeal before the Commission.
4. The matter was heard today. The appellant submitted that he is one of the Executive Members of the above mentioned Trust and he had sought the information as the said Trust had secured loan from the PNB on the basis of some forged documents.
5. The respondents submitted that the information sought by the appellant had been denied on the ground of commercial confidence u/s 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, 2005. They also submitted that the said Trust which was registered under the Societies and Trusts Act had informed them in writing that the appellant is neither a trustee nor an Executive Member of the Trust and nor a signatory to the loan, he is a third party whom they, the Trust, had denied to divulge the requested information. They also added that they have the trust deed with them and it does not have the name of the appellant either as the trustee or the Executive Member and that the appellant is a member of Shri Vellapalli Nadesan College of Engineering, which is not the same as Sree Gurudeva Chritable Trust.
6. In view of the above, the Commission upholds the CPIO’s decision. The appellant may take up his grievance at appropriate forum for redressal.
Citation: Shri K. Gopalkrishnan v. Punjab National Bank in Appeal: No. CIC/VS/A/2013/001354/MP