Seeking sales certificate and the outstanding loan amounts of third party under RTI
The appellant's wife had purchased a property that had been mortgaged to a bank for securing a loan. He filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the State Bank of India (SBI) seeking the information related to the sales certificate and the outstanding loan amounts with regard to the said property. The Public Information Officer (PIO) denied the information under section 8(1)(d) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information; and 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.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the respondent explained that a loan had been taken by an entity on the basis of an equitable mortgage. On repayment default the bank took action under the SARFAESEI Act after due process including public auction of the property. This information had been denied to the appellant on account of third party information and commercial confidence.
View of CIC
The Commission observed that the appellant is seeking the information which is relevant to his interest for legal proceedings. It is in the public interest that transparency is maintained and information be provided to the appellant. The Commission held that it would be fair and just to provide to the appellant the information sought taking into account that the appellant's wife could be an innocent buyer. The CIC directed the PIO to provide to the appellant the information sought in the RTI application.
Citation: Mr. Chintamani Panda v State Bank of India in Decision No. CIC/DS/A/2012/000462/VS/02301
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1111
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