Information with respect to bank account in the name of Jamshedpur Vishwa Karma Samaj was denied u/s 8(1)(d), 8(1)(e) & 8(1)(j) - Appellant alleged that it is a forged account - CIC: PIO to issue notice u/s 11(1) & take views of the signatories
1. The appellant, Shri Sarvashrestha Sachhidanand, has submitted RTI application dated 6 January 2012 before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), State Bank of India, Baradwari; seeking information regarding the saving account of ‘Jamshedpur Viswakarma Samaj’.
2. Vide order dated 2 March 2012, CPIO denied the information to the appellant u/Ss. 8(1)(d), 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; & 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. of the RTI Act, 2005. Not satisfied by the CPIO’s reply, the appellant preferred appeal dated 24 March 2012 to the first appellate authority (FAA). Vide order dated 10 May 2012, FAA upheld the CPIO’s reply and also clarified the same keeping in view the new facts mentioned by the appellant in his appeal.
3. Being aggrieved and 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. The appellant, Shri Sarvashreshtha Sachidanand, was present at the hearing and made submissions from East Singhbhum. The respondents, Shri Sanjay Prakash, CPIO made submissions from East Singhbhum. Mr Ahmad Ali Khan, FAA and Ms. Meenakshi, Manager (RTI) made submissions from Patna.
5. The appellant submitted that he sought information with respect to the bank account standing in the name of Jamshedpur Vishwa Karma Samaj (Regd. with the Government of Jharkhand) as there is possibility of it being a forged account created by an unauthorized committee. It was further submitted that appellant being a patron member (who made heavy donations in the year 1982) of the Society has the knowledge that an account already exists with the Central Bank of India in the name of the Jamshedpur Vishwa Karma Samaj and which has been closed as of date.
6. The CPIO submitted that the information sought may not be disclosed as the information belongs to the bank’s customer and is third party information. The information can be given to the authorized signatory even though the appellant has claimed to be the patron member of the society and also no larger public interest is involved in the matter. The information may only be disclosed to the signatories of the bank account/authorized signatories. Further the account was opened in the year 2011 and no approval of Government of Jharkhand was required for the opening of said bank account.
7. The Commission remands the matter back to the CPIO to take action under section 11 (1) of the RTI Act within three days seeking the views of the signatories of the bank account regarding the disclosure of information to the RTI applicant.
8. The CPIO is directed to take further action based on the reply received and as per the provisions of the RTI Act, 2005.
9. The appellant may approach the suitable forum for the redressal of his grievance, if any.
Citation: Shri Sarvashresth Sachhidanand v. State Bank of India in Appeal: No. CIC/VS/A/2012/000409/MP