Copies of Land Possession Certificates & rent receipts submitted by the KCC loan beneficiaries were denied u/s 8(1)(d) & (e) of the RTI Act & also u/s 13 of the Banking Companies (Acquisition & Transfer of Undertaking) Act, 1970 - CIC: denial upheld
1. The appellant, Shri Ram Bilas Patel, submitted RTI application dated 5 July 2013 before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Punjab National Bank, Muzaffarpur; seeking information regarding the copies of land possession certificate (LPC) and rent receipt submitted by the KCC loan beneficiaries while taking loan from Bettiah Branch.
2. The appellant preferred an appeal dated 6 August 2013 to the first appellate authority (FAA) when he didn’t receive any reply from the CPIO concerned within stipulated time period. In response to the appeal; vide reply dated 16 September 2013, CPIO denied the information on the ground that no records in CIC/VS/A/2013/002063/MP favour of the appellant was available with them. No separate 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 by the Commission. The appellant’s representative has submitted that the appellant had sought the copies of Land Possession Certificates and rent receipts submitted by the KCC loan beneficiaries at the time of taking the loan, but he had not been given the same by the respondents.
5. The respondents submitted that they could not provide the information sought for by the appellant u/s 8(1) (d) & (e) of the RTI Act and also under Section 13 of the Banking Companies (Acquisition & Transfer of Undertaking) Act, 1970 as the information sought was personal information of their customers. LPC and rent receipt of the land against which the KCC loans had been granted come within the personal information which had been kept with them by their customers in fiduciary capacity and it also involved commercial confidence.
6. In view of the above, the Commission accepts the submission made by the respondents that the information sought for by the appellant is exempt from disclosure 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; & (e) of the RTI Act, 2005. Both the appeals are disposed of with this order.
Citation: Shri Ram Bilas Patel v. Punjab National Bank in Appeal: No. CIC/VS/A/2013/002063/MP