Information regarding the strategy made by AGM approved by GM for the reduction of NPA denied u/s 8(1)(d) and 8(1)(e) - FAA held that “strategies formulated” is a wide term which cannot be quantified and may differ from case to case – CIC: denial upheld
1. The appellant filed an application dated 19.11.2011 under the RTI Act, seeking information regarding the strategy made by AGM approved by GM for the reduction of NPA. Respondent denied the information 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; and section 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 Act. Appellant filed first appeal before the first appellate authority (FAA). FAA dismissed the appeal filed by the appellant. Aggrieved by the decision of the FAA, appellant filed this present second appeal.
2. Appellant and respondent participated in the hearing through video conferencing.
3. Appellant referred to his RTI application and stated that he was seeking information regarding the strategy made by AGM approved by GM for the reduction of NPA. Appellant stated that he sought information in a RTI application regarding the role and function of the AGM.
4. Respondent stated that the information sought by the appellant is in the nature of commercial confidence and held by the bank in a fiduciary capacity. Respondent stated that the strategy could not be specifically defined as it would differ according to the situations and that the strategy is a matter of day today work in the bank.
5. Respondent stated that the information sought by the appellant, i.e. the strategy formulated, is a wide term which cannot be quantified in any clearly stated plan of action.
6. Respondent cited a Commission’s order of CIC/SM/A/2012/000010/BS/1848 for making the point that strategy did not come under section 2(f) “information” means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force; of the Act.
7. It is apparent that the strategy as sought in the RTI application, cannot be defined. The FAA has stated that “strategies formulated” is a wide term which cannot be quantified. The FAA said that such strategies formulated for any plan of action may include counseling, training, personal contacts, telecalling, reminders, legal remedies, etc., differing from case to case and area to which the course of action pertains.
8. Respondent has acted in conformity with the RTI Act.
9. Order of the FAA is upheld. The appeal is disposed of.
Citation: Shri Nitin Kumar Tayal v. State Bank of India in Decision No.CIC/VS/A/2012/000673/03569