Information regarding investigation held against some bank officials & chargesheet details for an alleged fraud case was denied u/ss. 8(1)(j) & Section 11- CIC: PIO is directed to inform the outcome of the pending case before the Hon’ble High Court of A.P
1. The appellant, Shri Vikas Jain, submitted RTI application dated 14 July 2011 before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), State Bank of India, Hyderabad; seeking information regarding status of the officers/ employees of the bank which were found involved and responsible relating to the irregularities in the accounts of the firms M/s. Anup Singh Sunder Lal, Guntur and M/s. K.V.S. Enterprises, Guntur with the respondent Guntur Bazar Branch during the year 1981-82 and also relating to the disciplinary action taken by the respondent bank against them, through a total of 4 points.
2. Vide reply dated 18 August 2011, CPIO denied the information u/ss. 8(1)(j) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual unless the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information: Provided that the information which cannot be denied to the Parliament or a State Legislature shall not be denied to any person. and Section 11 of the RTI Act, 2005 and also clarified the same. Not satisfied with the CPIO’s reply, the appellant preferred appeal dated 26 August 2011 to the first appellate authority (FAA) alleging that he had been wrongly denied the information by the CPIO concerned and pleaded that he was the grandson of Late Shri Sunderlal Jain about whom information was sought. Vide order dated 30 September 2011, FAA upheld the CPIO’s decision and also held that information sought was more than 30 years old and added that the appellant had sought information which was in the nature of queries / clarifications which was not maintainable under RTI Act, 2005.
3. Not satisfied with the response of the public authority, the appellant preferred second appeal before the Commission.
4. The matter was heard today via videoconferencing. Shri Kulbhushan Jain arrived late at the hearing and made submissions from Rohtak on behalf of his son i.e., the appellant, Shri Vikas Jain. The respondents, Shri V. Venkat Rao, AGM represented CPIO from Krishna District. Shri Vaman Rao, FAA made submissions from Hyderabad.
5. Shri Kulbhushan Jain submitted that information is sought against the investigation held against Shri Anoop Singh Sunderlal and other chargesheet details for an alleged fraud case. Shri Kulbhushan Jain submitted that the appellant is the victim in the said fraud case and is not the third party to the case. Hence, the information should be made available to him under the RTI Act, 2005.
6. The CPIO submitted that information is sought regarding an alleged fraud case regarding recovery of Rs 45 lakhs out of Rs 48 lakhs loan sanctioned, involving Shri Anoop Singh Sunderlal (M/s. KVS Enterprises). In the year 2005, the case was handed over to the CBI by SBI. The CBI, after conducting inquiry, acquitted Shri Anoop Singh Sunderlal. Post acquittal, the SBI filed a recovery case against Shri Anoop Singh Sunderlal in the AP High Court (execution petition) and as on date the, case is still pending. Hence, the information sought may not be provided as it is a third party information specially when a case is still pending before the Hon’ble High Court and the disclosure of the information might interfere with a pending matter. Shri Vaman Rao finally submitted that CIC in its previous decision dated 26 September 2008 (2848/ICPB/2008) has decided that information regarding pending cases may not be disclosed before the final disposition of the case.
8. The Commission adjourns the present case as the matter is pending before the Hon’ble High Court of A.P., as submitted by the FAA at the hearing. The CPIO is directed to inform the Commission and the appellant, the outcome of the said pending case before the Hon’ble High Court of A.P.
Citation: Shri Vikas Jain v. State Bank of India in Appeal: No. CIC/DS/A/2011/003699/MP