A retired employee of BSNL was charged Rs.102/ by SBI for attesting his life certificate - On asking for a copy of the rules under which fee was charged, he was referred to the sbi website - CIC: Provide the hardcopy of the said rules/circulars
1. The appellant submitted RTI application dated December 3, 2013 before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), State Bank of India, Chennai; seeking copy of guidelines/rules/order on the basis of which bank was charging Rs.102/ for attesting his life certificate and order which says that pensioner’s pay slip was only given yearly not monthly; through a total of two points.
2. Vide letter dated December 9, 2013; the CPIO informed the appellant that information sought was available in bank’s website www.sbi.co.in . Not satisfied with the CPIO’s reply, the appellant preferred an appeal dated December 11, 2013 to the first appellate authority (FAA). Vide order dated January 24, 2014; the FAA upheld the CPIO’s decision on point 1 and also furnished the detailed link on their website i.e www.sbi.co.in >customer care>service charges & fees where information was available and clarified on point 2 that no such order was issued by the bank.
3. Dissatisfied with the response of the public authority, the appellant preferred second appeal before the Commission.
4. The matter was heard by the Commission. The appellant stated that he is a retired employee of BSNL and he was receiving his pension through the SBI. When he approached the branch manager of SBI to attest his life certificate, he was asked to pay Rs. 102/- as a charge for attesting life certificate. He alleged that attestation of Life Certificate was being provided free of cost to many pensioners known to him and the bank had wrongly demanded Rs. 102/- as attestation charge. Therefore, he sought the relevant rules/circular in this regard from the b ank under RTI Act but insisted giving the relevant rules the respondent mentioned some website’s name where the rules that were applicable were given. He stated that he does not know how to operate computer and wanted it in hard copies.
5. The respondents submitted that charge of Rs. 102/- for attesting life certificate for pensioners drawing pension from the SBI was mandatory for all pensioners except of their own retired employees. They stated that information sought was available in public domain on the bank’s website; therefore they had mentioned the relevant link of the website and also added that as the whole information was contained in 35 pages, so they gave the website link it would be quicker and easier for the appellant to access the information.
6. The Commission accepts the respondents’ submissions and upholds their decisions. The Commission, however, directs the respondents to provide the hardcopy of the said rules/circulars to the appellant upon payment of requisite fee prescribed under the RTI Rules, 2012 within 7 days of the receipt of this order. The appeal is disposed of.
Citation: Shri D Duraisingam v. State Bank of India in Appeal No. CIC/MP/A/2014/000916