Information regarding the amount of “Bad Debts or NPA” in respect of Bharat Berg Limited in the book of the Bank and its present status was denied u/s 8(1)(d) and 8(1)(e) - section 44 of the SBI Act, 1955 also cited - CIC: denial upheld
1. The appellant, Shri Praveen Kumar Mundra, has submitted the RTI application dated 5 December 2012 before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), State Bank of India, Mumbai; seeking information regarding the amount of “Bad Debts or NPA” in respect of Bharat Berg Limited in the book of the Bank and its present status as on today through a total of 2 points.
2. Vide order dated 14 January 2013, CPIO declined to furnish the information to the appellant in terms of section 8 (1) (d) of the RTI Act. Not satisfied by the CPIO’s reply, the appellant preferred an appeal dated 19 January 2013 to the first appellate authority (FAA). Vide order dated 28 March 2012, FAA upheld the CPIO’s decision and also clarified the same quoting CIC order no. CIC/SG/A/2012/000471 dated 18.4.2012.
3. Not satisfied by the above response of the public authority, the appellant preferred second appeal before the Commission.
4. The matter was heard today via videoconferencing. Shri Praveen Kumar Mundra, did not attend the hearing. The State Bank of India was represented by Shri R.C. Agasimani, AGM(Law) and Shri Ashok Kumar, CPIO.
5. The appellant has asked for information about the amount of bad debts or NPAs in respect of Bharat Berg Ltd (under liquidation) and about the present status of the bad debts or NPAs. The CPIO had denied the information under sections 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; and 8(1)(e) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information; of the RTI Act, 2005 in view of the commercial confidence in the matter and also as the information was available to the bank in fiduciary relationship with the customer. They also added that section 44 of the SBI Act, 1955 also required that the bank shall not divulge any information relating to the affairs of its constituents.
6. The Commission upholds the order of the CPIO and dismisses the appeal.
Citation: Shri Praveen Kumar Mundra v. State Bank of India in Appeal: No. CIC/VS/A/2013/000477/MP