Copy of application form of HUF account of appellant’s late father was denied u/s 8(1)(d) - Appellant: the account has been transferred irregularly after his death - Bank: senior most karta allowed to operate - CIC: provide copy of rules followed by bank
O R D E R
1. The appellant filed a complaint with the PIO on 16.7.2012 seeking copies of the documents, application form of the SB account of his father on death as a ‘karta’ in the name of one Shri Himatlal C Motla. The CPIO denied the information to the appellant on 30.7.2012 under 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.
2. Not satisfied with the reply of the PIO, the appellant filed his appeal on 24.8.2012 with the first appellate authority (FAA). The FAA upheld the reply of PIO on 26.9.2012. The appellant approached the Commission on 19.12.2012 in second appeal.
3. The appellant and the respondent both participated in the hearing through video conferencing.
4. The appellant referred to his RTI application of 16.7.2012 and stated that he was seeking information with reference to an HUF account in which his father was the ‘karta’. The appellant stated that the account, after the death of his father, has been transferred irregularly. The appellant said that the bank was duty bound under the law and also under the banking norms to have transferred the account as per the prescribed system, but the bank bypassed him and transferred the account to others, although the appellant himself was also entitled. The appellant stated that he wanted to know the circular or rules or guidelines under which the bank had transferred the account following his father’s death without taking him into consideration.
5. The appellant stated that he wanted to stress that his RTI requirement is to get the specific banking rules under which the bank has taken this account as stated above.
6. The respondent stated that the information sought by the appellant has already been provided. The respondent stated that it is important to understand the facts of this matter that the appellant’s father had passed away on 26.10.2005 subsequent to which the bank allowed the account to be operated by the senior most ‘karta’ who happened to be the elder brother of the appellant. The respondent stated that the situation changed after the appellant’s mother passed away on 3.7.2009. When the matter was reviewed by the bank, a decision was taken after due legal consultation that the account in question was an account in which only the ‘karta’ was allowed to operate.
7. The respondent stated that this matter was clear in so far the bank’s understanding was concerned i.e., as the elder brother was the ‘karta’, so the bank took a decision accordingly. The respondent stated that if the appellant had an issue on this, he was fully free to go to the competent authority, i.e., the competent court and get an order as this is a matter pertaining to a dispute in the family.
8. The respondent stated that the information to be given was provided on 3.11.2009. However, the bank would address the issue raised in the hearing, i.e., to inform the appellant about the rules which the respondent bank have followed in arriving at the decision in question.
9. The respondent is directed to provide a copy of the rules followed by the bank in the matter within 30 days of this order. The appeal is disposed of. Copy of the decision be given free of cost to both the parties.
Citation: Shri Pradip H. Motla v. Indian Overseas Bank in Decision No. CIC/VS/A/2013/000263/05634