Information regarding the terms & conditions of the bank’s agreement with TATA AIG based on which the bank advised its customers to invest in TATA AIG were denied u/s 8(1)(d) - CIC: Less return than expectation not become the ground for disclosure
This matter pertains to an RTI application dated 26.8.2013 filed by the Appellant, seeking information on two points. Not satisfied with the response of the Respondents, he filed second appeal dated 21.12.2013 to the CIC, which was received by the Commission on 13.1.2014.
2. The Appellant submitted that the CPIO erred in denying the information under Section 8 (1) (d) of the RTI Act. He stated that the bank has been advising its customers to invest in TATA AIG. However, returns from investments with the above company have not been up to the expectations of investors. Therefore, he sought information regarding the terms and conditions of the bank’s agreement with TATA AIG, based on which the bank advises its customers to invest in TATA AIG. The Respondents submitted that they act only as a facilitator to collect applications for investment in TATA AIG and forward the same to the above company. The terms and conditions of investment are made known to investors at the time of their making their applications. The bank has a separate agreement with TATA AIG regarding their role as a facilitator. However, its disclosure is exempted under Section 8 (1) (d) of the RTI Act. Therefore, the information sought by the Appellant was denied. The Appellant stated that the bank was wrong in invoking Section 8 (1) (d) in respect of itself in denying the above information.
3. We have considered the records and the submissions made by both the parties before us. We note the submission of the Respondents that the terms and conditions of investment are made known to investors at the time of submission of their investment applications by them. The fact that the return from an investment may not have come up to the expectation of an investor cannot become the ground for disclosure of the agreement between the bank and TATA AIG. Further, the agreement is between the bank and TATA AIG. Therefore, it contains information of commercial confidence concerning both the parties. In view of the above, the argument of the Appellant that the bank invoked Section 8 (1) (d) in respect of itself does not stand to reason. Moreover, Section 2 (n) of the RTI Act provides that “third party” means a person other than the citizen making a request for information and includes a public authority.”
4. In view of the foregoing, we uphold the decision of the Respondents to deny the information in this case.
5. With the above observations, the appeal is disposed of.
6. Copies of this order be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Shri Snehamay Chakrabarti v. United Bank of India in File No. CIC/SH/A/2014/000178