Procedures to be followed before allowing a payment on savings account - appellant wanted the bank to verify whether the letter annexed to the RTI application was valid for banking transactions - RTI Act does not expect the public authority to give advice
O R D E R
1. The appellant filed an RTI application on 1832012 seeking information on standard instruments of the banks, the rights and obligations of banks, and security and authenticity procedures to be followed before allowing a payment on savings accounts and related issues.
2. The CPIO responded on 1842012, informing the appellant that the RTI application had been forwarded to the concerned department. The appellant filed an appeal with the first appellate authority (FAA) on 1462012. The FAA responded on 972012 and directed the CPIO to provide information to the appellant, if available. The appellant approached the Commission on 2792012 in a second appeal. Hearing:
3. The appellant’s representative referred to the RTI application of 1832012 and stated that information had been sought on the point whether the letter annexed to the RTI application of 6122008 was valid and legal for the purpose of banking transactions.
4. The respondent stated that the CPIO responded on 1842012 in which it has been stated that the query had been forwarded to the concerned department. The respondent further stated that in a subsequent letter of 1372012, the respondent had submitted a detailed response with certain observations about standard instruments, and the rights and obligations of the bank.
5. The respondent during the hearing further stated that the problem with the appellant’s specific query as posed in the hearing is that the query is not seeking information, instead it is seeking advice and that the providing of advice does not fall under the definition of information as prescribed in the RTI Act.
6. The appellant reiterated that it is the duty of the RBI to give advice.
7. The respondent stated that seeking advice is not information and that this has also been held by the CPIO.
8. The appellant stated that he wanted to know from the RBI whether RBI is not competent authority for giving advice on such matters.
9. The respondent stated reiterated that what the appellant is seeking is the advice of the RBI on the standing of the letter of 6122008 that was attached to the RTI application and providing of such advice is not mandated under the RTI Act. The respondent further said that RTI application also appears to be asking whether the RBI has issued any instructions about how the bank should perform their obligations.
10. The respondent stated that the CPIO has sent a reply on 1552012 which indicates that the banks have not been given any instructions as being suggested in the RTI application about the performance of obligations or the payment of instruments. The respondent further said that in respect of the appeal of 1562012, the FAA had directed the CPIO to send their comments which the CPIO did on 2772012, in which CPIO stated as follows: (a) that the RBI has provided the link which gave an indicative list for public information, illustrative of the payment instructions, though the list was not exhaustive; and (b) that the RTI Act does not expect the RBI to give advice of the nature sought in the RTI application in respect of the letter dated 6122008.
11. The respondent has acted in conformity with the RTI Act.
12. Commission’s intervention is not required in the matter. Appeal is disposed of. Copy of this order be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Ms. Shalini K. v. Reserve Bank of India in Decision No. CIC/VS/A/2012/001487/04787