List of home loans taken by some doctors along with the address was sought alleging misuse of loans to conduct commercial activities like running nursing homes which is chargeable to higher interest rate - PIO denied it u/s 8(1)(j) - CIC: denial upheld
1. The appellant, Dr. P.S Kalantri, has submitted the RTI application dated 21 November 2012 before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), State Bank of India, Bilaspur, seeking information relating to Loans and Advances sanctioned and disbursed to the medical Doctors as “Housing loans”, but used by them for constructing Nursing Homes/Diagnostic Centers/Laboratory/or acquiring commercial property through a total of 4 points.
2. Vide reply dated 21 December 2012, the CPIO replied that there is no obligation to provide the information as per section 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 being satisfied with the CPIO’s reply, the appellant preferred an appeal dated 28 January 2013 to the first appellate authority (FAA). Vide order dated 13 February 2013, The FAA disposed of the appeal by upholding the decision of the CPIO on point no. 1 &2 and by declaring that information sought in point no. 3 & 4 does not appear to be information as defined under Section 2 (f) of the act. Hence, cannot be provided.
3. Being aggrieved by the FAA’s order, the appellant made second appeal to the Central Information Commission, vide letter dated 07 March 2013.
4. The matter was heard today via videoconferencing. The appellant, Dr. P.S. Kalantri was present at the hearing at Bilaspur along with the respondent, Shri B. Biswas, CPIO. The other respondent, Shri Benoy, Manager (Law) made submission from Bhopal.
5. The appellant submitted that he sought information pertaining to the list of home loans taken by the doctors in Bilaspur along with the address of the said properties. The appellant alleged that the home loans taken by the doctors are being misused to conduct commercial activities like running nursing homes from their premises which requires charging different set of interest rates (being commercial property).
6. Shri B. Biswas, CPIO submitted that while sanctioning home loans to the customers, procedures are followed by the bank to ensure that the property for which the loan has been taken is being utilized for that purpose only. If upon inspection it is found that the property is being used for commercial activities, excess interest is being charged from the loanee concerned. However, the CPIO denied that any complaint has been received in Bilaspur on this matter and that they will investigate the matter and take action as per RBI instructions if any case comes to their notice.
7. CPIO further submitted that proper audit is being conducted by the bank at regular intervals. Also, information sought by the appellant is ‘personal information’ of third party which may not be disclosed under Section 8 (1) (j) of the RTI Act, 2005. It was finally submitted that the appellant is free to file a formal complaint on a specific issue alleging misuse of loan amount, on which due action would be taken by the public authority.
8. The Commission upholds the CPIO’s decision. The appeal is dismissed and the case is closed.
Citation: Dr. P.S. Kalantri v. State Bank of India in Appeal: No. CIC/VS/A/2013/000585/MP