Information related to appellant’s father’s saving bank accounts held in different banks was sought from RBI - A petitioner is obliged u/s 6(1) to file his RTI application before the PIO of the public authority which holds the information
1. The appellant, Ms. Uma P, submitted RTI application dated 22 The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 (19 of 1923), and any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act. October 2013 before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Reserve Bank of India, Mumbai seeking detailed information regarding statement of accounts, investments etc. of her father Shri P Parthasarthy in different banks etc., through a total of 2 points.
2. Vide reply dated 8 November 2013, CPIO denied the information sought by the appellant on the ground that they do not maintain/obtain such granular details of individual bank accounts maintained with other banks therefore information sought could not be furnished. Not satisfied with CPIO’s reply, the appellant preferred an appeal dated 20 November 2013 to the first appellate authority (FAA) alleging that he had been wrongly denied the information by the CPIO concerned. Vide order dated 17 December 2013, FAA upheld the CPIO’s decision.
3. Dissatisfied with the response of the public authority, the appellant preferred appeal before the Commission.
4. The matter was heard by the Commission. The appellant was not present during hearing. The respondents submitted that the appellant wanted information related to her father’s saving bank accounts held in different banks which had been denied by them on the ground that the same was not held by them and was also not under their control. They stated that the FAA had also upheld the decision of CPIO. The respondents cited the CIC’s decision in Shri Rajiv Dahiya vs UCO bank (Appeal No. CIC/PB/A/2008/006710589) dated 29.10.2009 wherein it was held that the CPIO is expected to provide such information only if it is held by the Public Authority or under its control. If the desired information is not available in the records of the Public Authority, the CPIO cannot invent it. The respondent also submitted that since some of the authorized banks were public authorities under RTI Act, it was open for the appellant to approach these public authorities to seek the required information. In this regard, the respondents made reference of CIC’s decision in case of Ketan Kantilal Modi vs. CBEC (Appeal No. CIC/AT/A/2008/01280) decided on 29.9.2008 wherein it was held that “when a petitioner is aware of the location of a given information vis-a-vis a public authority, it is not open to him to file his RTI application before any other public authority in the expectation that this latter public authority would act u/s 6(3) to transfer his application to where the information was known to be held. A petitioner is obliged u/s 6(1) to file his RTI application before the CPIO of the public authority which is the ‘concerned public authority’, which holds the information within the meaning of Section 2(j) “right to information” means the right to information accessible under this Act which is held by or under the control of any public authority and includes the right to- (i) inspection of work, documents, records; (ii) taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records; (iii) taking certified samples of material; (iv) obtaining information in the form of diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts where such information is stored in a computer or in any other device; of the RTI Act, 2005.”
5. In view of the above submissions, the Commission upholds the decision of the respondents. The appeal is disposed of.
Citation: Ms. Uma P v. Reserve Bank of India in Appeal: No. CIC/MP/A/2014/000278