It is held that information sought regarding date of deposit of Rs. 15 Lakhs in the account of each citizen as promised by PM Narendra Modi and how print media houses came to know before the announcement of PM Narendra Modi about the demonetisation, etc. of the RTI application does not fall under the definition of ‘information’ as per Section 2(f) of the RTI Act.
1. The appellant filed RTI application dated 26.11.2016 seeking information regarding: date of deposit of Rs. 15 Lakhs in the account of each citizen as promised by PM Narendra Modi; educational qualification, previous service of Sh. Urijit Patel, RBI Governor; date, month and year in which the printing of currency notes was started, etc.
2. The appellant filed second appeal on 12.05.20 17 with the Commission on the ground that information should be provided to him.
3. The appellant participated in the hearing through VC. The respondent no. 1, Sh. Parveen Kumar, US (RTI) and Sh. Mukul Dixit, SO (RTI) were personally present in the hearing. The respondent no. 2, Ms. Honey Kumari, Legal Officer participated in the hearing through audio-call.
4. The appellant referred to his RTI application dated 26.11.2016 and stated that complete information has not been provided to him by the respondents.
5. The respondent no. 1 stated that vide their reply dated 20.01.2017, they have informed the appellant that information sought by him on point nos. 1 and 4 (regarding date of deposit of Rs. 15 Lakhs in the account of each citizen as promised by PM Narendra Modi; how print media houses came to know before the announcement of PM Narendra Modi about the demonetisation, etc.) of the RTI application does not fall under the definition of ‘information’ as per Section 2(f) of the RTI Act. The respondent stated that they have further informed the appellant that they have transferred his RTI application under Section 6(3) on point nos. 2 and 3 to the Secretary, D/o. Economic Affairs and point no. 5 to the Secretary, Deptt. of Financial Services vide their letter no. RTI/11675/2016-PMR dated 20.01.2017 for appropriate action in the matter. Point no. 5, in turn, has been transferred to the CPIO, Reserve Bank of India by the CPIO, Deptt. of Financial Services.
6. The respondent no. 2 stated that they have received the RTI application of the appellant on point no. 5 from the Dett. of Financial Services vide their letter dated 27.01.2017.
7. The respondent no. 2 stated that vide their letter dated 17.02.2017, reply/information on point no. 5 has already been provided to the appellant by stating that, “in exercise of powers conferred under Section 27 (2) of the Banking Regulation Act 1949, the RBI collects credit information from banks under the Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC) reporting system. Similarly, by exercising powers conferred upon it in terms of Section 45-C of the RBI Act 1934, the RBI collects returns containing credit information from banks. Under Section 28 of the BR Act 1949 and Section 45-E of RBI Act 1934, Reserve Bank can disclose information in such consolidated form the bank deems fit. RBI is prohibited from disclosing borrower-wise credit information collected as per provisions of above Also as per Section 8(1)(d) & 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act, such information is exempted from disclosure”. Further, the information sought regarding top hundred industrialists who had been considered as defaulters of bank, RBI submitted that in a pending case W.P. (C) No. 573 of 2003 titled as Centre for Public Interest Litigation Vs. Housing & Urban Development Copr. Ltd. & Ors., the RBI has submitted to the Hon’ble Supreme Court a list of defaulters for amounts above Rs. 500/- crores in a sealed cover, claiming that the said information is confidential and requested that it may not be revealed to the public. The matter is presently under the consideration of the Supreme Court.
8. The respondent no. 2 stated that information on the loans waived is not available in their records.
9. The appellant stated that he has not received reply/information from the Deptt. of Economic Affairs.
10. The action/steps taken by the respondent nos. 1 and 2 in dealing with the RTI application are satisfactory.
11. The CPIO, Deptt. of Economic Affairs is directed to give reply to the appellant on point nos. 2 and 3 (regarding the appointment/educational qualification of RBI Governor; when did the currency notes printing start, ) of his RTI application, within 7 days from the date of receipt of this order.
The appeal is disposed of. Copy of the decision be given free of cost to the parties.