Out of turn hearing was granted by CIC to a senior citizen not keeping good health - CIC: Provide certified copies of the documents based on which names of both partners in the partnership document were verified at the time of opening of the partnership
This matter pertains to an RTI application dated 25.10.2013 filed by the Appellant, seeking information on seven points regarding the current account of partnership firm M/s Shalimar Gas with the Respondent Bank. Not having received any reply from the CPIO, the Appellant filed an appeal to the First Appellate Authority on 2.12.2013. Not having heard from the FAA, she filed second appeal dated 15.5.2014 to the CIC, which was received by the Commission on 17.6.2014.
2. The Appellant had written to the Commission on 11.7.2014, stating that she is a widow and a senior citizen. She had further stated that she was not keeping good health and had no one in her house to assist her in the matter. She had also stated that she had approached various authorities of the bank to resolve the issues concerning the account of the above mentioned partnership firm, but had received no information from them. She requested the Commission to hold an early hearing on this matter. In view of the foregoing, we decided to take up this matter for an out of turn hearing.
3. We heard the submissions of the Appellant and the Respondents. The Appellant submitted that she is the widow of an Air Force Officer and initially owned M/s Shalimar Gas as its proprietor. Later on, it became a partnership firm and a partner was inducted besides her. She further submitted that in 2012, when she approached the bank for a statement of the account and cheque book etc., the same were denied to her.
4. The Respondents submitted that they were ignorant about the Appellant’s RTI application dated 25.10.2013 and came to know of it on receiving the Commission’s notice for today’s hearing. They further submitted that in response of various other communications from the Appellant, they have provided a good deal of information to her. In response to our query, the Respondents also stated that they do not regard the Appellant as a third party in so far as the account of M/s Shalimar Gas is concerned. The Appellant stated that she has not received a satisfactory reply from the Respondents in respect of the points raised by her in her RTI application.
5. We have considered the records and the submissions of the two parties before us. With regard to point No. 1 of the RTI application dated 25.10.2013, the Appellant submitted that the name of her partner in the partnership document is Shri Anil Kumar. However, in the records of the bank, it is mentioned as Shri Anil Goel. She wants to know the manner in which the names of the two partners were verified by the bank. We direct the CPIO to provide to the Appellant certified copies of the documents, based on which names of both partners in the partnership document were verified and authenticated by the bank at the time of opening of the partnership account. Regarding point No. 2, the Appellant submitted that her address in the account opening documents was changed. The Respondents have shown us a copy of the account opening form in which the mailing address of the Appellant is initially written as ‘BC I IInd Floor’. This is then crossed out and the address is noted as ‘Gas Godown Site No. –I, Block F, Shalimar Bagh, N.D.88’. However, there is no authentication of the crossing out of the first address. The CPIO is directed to provide to the Appellant a certified copy of the document, if any, based on which the address of the account holder was noted in their records in spite of non authentication of the above crossed out entry. Regarding point No. 3, the Respondents stated that no cheque book was issued by them in October 2012. However, the Appellant has provided the Sl. No. of the cheque book. The CPIO is directed to inform her whether a cheque book with this Sl. No. was issued in respect of the above mentioned account and, if so, provide her a certified copy of the document showing the recipient of the cheque book. In regard to point No. 4, the Appellant stated that she was excluded from the operation of the account by the bank. The Respondents submitted that in the account opening form, bearing the signatures of the Appellant, the mandate for account operation was given to Shri Anil Goel. In point No. 5, the Appellant has asked the Respondents to explain the alterations made in the amount on RTGS forms accepted by them. She has shown us a copy of one such altered form and stated that similar alterations were made in other similar forms. We note that this is not an issue that can be addressed under the RTI Act. With regard to point No. 6, the CPIO is directed to provide to the Appellant a certified copy of her written request, based on which all the RTGS were transacted. As regards point No. 7, the CPIO is directed to provide to the Appellant details of the action taken by the bank in response to the letter dated 21.8.2012 and certified copies of the relevant documents concerning such action. The CPIO is further directed to complete action on our above directives within twenty days of the receipt of this order, under intimation to the Commission.
6. The Appellant questions the propriety / legality of certain actions taken by the bank. We note that the Commission is not competent to address such issues. The Appellant is at liberty to raise the same in an appropriate forum.
7. With the directions contained in paragraph 5 above, the appeal is disposed of.
8. Copies of this order be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Smt. Aruna Nanda v. Union Bank of India in File No. CIC/SH/A/2014/001108