Seeking quarterly returns pertaining to securitization and reconstruction - business plans drawn up are confidential in nature and submitted to RBI as part of fiduciary relationship - CIC: disclose as per decision no. CIC/SG/A/2011/003605/017257
O R D E R
1. The appellant filed an RTI application on 1922012 requesting for copies of certain quarterly returns from 20-03-2012 and related issues.
2. The CPIO responded on 22-3-2012. Some information was provided to the appellant while some was denied on grounds of fiduciary relationship. The appellant has also cited the CIC’s order dated 9-2-2012 and compliance thereof and approached the Commission again to obtain the information which had been earlier denied to him. The appellant filed an undated appeal with the first appellate authority (FAA). The FAA responded on 10-5-2012 and concurred with the views of the CPIO. The appellant approached the Commission on 6-11-2012 in a second appeal.
3. The appellant referred to his RTI application of 19-2-2012 and reiterated the contents of the RTI application and stated that he wanted the documents mentioned in his RTI application. The appellant said that he was wanting the documentation pertaining to securitization and reconstruction filed by the entity referred to in the RTI application.
4. The respondent stated that they have given a detailed response to the RTI application on 22-3-2012 in which they have provided some of the documents sought. But, in respect of other documents they have taken the cover of the exemption from disclosure clauses of the RTI Act on grounds of confidentiality, because these were matters pertaining to situations where a company gets into financial crises necessitating intervention by the assets reconstruction companies on certain terms and conditions and for the purpose of revival into economic health, hence the need to recognize sensitivity of the information sought.
5. The appellant stated that the respondent is concealing the information from the appellant who is seeking this information in the larger public interest. The appellant stated that the RBI is malfunctioning and not controlling properly the assets reconstruction Company against whom the appellant stated that he has made serious allegations. The appellant stated that those allegations have been taken cognizance of by the RBI but in their response they have said nothing about those allegations.
6. The respondent stated that it should be understood that the work of such assets reconstruction companies is a competitive business, and that the business plans drawn up are confidential information in nature and revealed to the RBI as part of fiduciary relationship. The respondent said that if such information is disclosed, then this will result in bottlenecking of free discussion between the regulator and the assets reconstruction companies.
7. Other RTI applications on the subject on hand had come up earlier before the Commission, when a decision no.CIC/SG/A/2011/003605/017257 was given on 9-2-2012. There is no need to interfere with the earlier decision of the Commission, which would apply in the present matter.
8. The respondent is directed to submit a compliance report on the Commission’s abovementioned decision of 9-2-2012 within 30 days of this order. Appeal is disposed of. Copy of this order be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Shri Rameshwar Dass Saini v. Reserve Bank of India in Decision No. CIC/VS/A/2012/001826/5452