Information about loans provided against fake jewels
Through a RTI application, the appellant sought information about loans given by a branch against fake jewel as security like the quantum of loan, name of appraiser who assessed the jewel, name of the person to whom the jewel was returned, the name of the investigating officer etc. The Public Information Officer (PIO) denied the information under the Section 8 (1) (d) (e) (g) (j) of the RTI act. On appeal, the First Appellate Authority (FAA) upheld the decision of the PIO.
View of the CIC
The Central Information Commission noted that the respondents have denied information about some frauds that have been committed in the bank by offering fake jewels as security to the bank against which loans have been given. The Commission held that information about its customers is held by the bank in a fiduciary relationship but, where clear frauds are committed, no fiduciary relationship can be claimed. Further, the Commission held that as per the section 8(2) Notwithstanding anything in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 (19 of 1923) nor any of the exemptions permissible in accordance with sub-section (1), a public authority may allow access to information, if public interest in disclosure outweighs the harm to the protected interests. of the RTI Act, there is a larger public interest in disclosure of such information and directed to disclose the information relating to all the cases where the advancing of loans against fake jewels has been uncovered to the Appellant. When the PIO stated that information about the frauds have been provided to the senior officers, the board, the RBI and other stake holders and hence he does not see the need to give the information to the appellant, the Commission observed that the PIO has forgotten that the major stake holders are the citizens of India.
Citation: Shri. V. K. Yogeesha v. Chikmagalur-Kodagu Grameena Bank in file no. CIC/SG/A/2011/003425
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/67
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