RBI wants to have time until November 26 to respond to the notice of justification submitted by CIC

RBI wants time until November 26 to respond to CIC's request for rationale

The Reserve Bank of India, struck by CIC with a voucher to its governor Urijit Patel, asked the highest jurisdictional authority in the matter until 26 November for its response. The case is likely to turn deadlock as Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu will finish his term on the panel on November 20, when he will be working for the last time. , sources said. Acharyulu had asked the RBI to provide an answer by November 16, but the banker's bank asked for time for November 26, sources said.

The Central Information Commission (CIC) sent the notification to Urijit Patel, the RBI refusing to disclose the list of large defaulters defaulters despite the orders of the Supreme Court (Jayantilal Mistry case in 2015) who asked them to stick to one of them. orders from Shailesh Gandhi, then Information Commissioner, calling for the disclosure of debtors in default under the Right to Information Act. Acharyulu had stated that such a challenge to Supreme Court orders could not be made at the level of the Central Information Officer.

READ ALSO | CIC sends notice of justification to RBI Governor Urjit Patel for failure to disclose list of willful defaulters

He stated that the RBI governor should be considered a CPIO under the provisions of the RTI Act for not disclosing the information and explain why he should not incur the maximum penalty for obstructing information despite decisions of justice at the top. Acharyulu overturned the previous position taken by a bench of two members of the commission comprising the information commissioners of the time, Manjula Prasher and Sudhir Bhargava, both former bureaucrats. They heard a case of activist Subhash Agrawal who had also asked for the list of defaulters of Rs a crore and more under the RTI Act.

In 2017, they stated that the matter could not be resolved until the Supreme Court issued an order in the Prashant Bhushan case, filed in 2003, in which he asked for details of debtors in default of credit. An amount equal to or greater than 500 crore. Ironically, the Bhushan case in the Supreme Court does not concern the applicability of the RTI in the disclosure of information as it was filed two years before the promulgation of the RTI Act. The Supreme Court's order in the Jayantilal Mistry case, on which Acharyulu was founded to address the notice to the governor of the RBI, relates specifically to the disclosure of information about loan defaulters under the ITR Act.

In the 2015 Mistry case, a two-member Supreme Court confirmed the order of CIC's Shailesh Gandhi to order RBI to disclose information about defaulting debtors and rejected all the arguments of the court. bank against their disclosure. However, the court preferred to join the proceedings in Bhushan where no final order was made.

"I had very strongly pleaded before the CIC bench (Prasher and Bhargava) for the Supreme Court's judgment in the Mistry judgment to be rendered in 2015, but they felt that it was contrary to relying on the Bhushan case, which is pending, "said Agrawal. He stated in the 2017 ordinance that they had decided to keep the case pending until SC made its decision in the Bhushan case, despite clear guidelines. Supreme Court in the Mistry case in 2015 to disclose the information.

Although the Bhushan case was aimed at requesting the disclosure of debtors in default of payment of a claim greater than or equal to 500 crores, it was not about the applicability of RTI on a such list, he said. Even after three years, the Supreme Court court hearing the case Prashant Bhushan has not suspended the execution of the injunction order of two judges of 2015 rendered in the same year. Jayantilal Mistry case.

The RBI has denied information citing state economic interest clauses, commercial confidence and information held as trustee. Upon hearing a petition from the plaintiff Sandeep Singh, Acharyulu rejected the claims of the RBI.

"The commission considers the governor to be an information protection officer deemed responsible for the non-disclosure and disregard of the orders of HC and CIC and orders him to indicate the reason for the maximum sentence. should not be inflicted for these reasons, before November 16, 2018, "he said. had said. He added that the RBI maintained the secrecy of vigilance reports and inspection reports with impunity, despite the confirmation by the Supreme Court of CIC's orders in the Jayantilal case. True to the CIC's orders to disclose the list of debtors in default and other matters, the Supreme Court in the Mistry case had stated that the RBI was supposed to defend the public interest and not the Interest of individual banks.

"RBI clearly has no fiduciary relationship with a bank. RBI has no legal obligation to maximize the benefits of a public or private sector bank. There is no relationship of "trust" between them. The RBI is legally obliged to defend the interests of the general public (depositors), the country's economy and the banking sector.

"Thus, RBI must act with transparency and not hide information that may embarrass some banks. It is the duty to comply with the provisions of the RTI Act and to disclose the information sought by the defendants, "he said.

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