Apex bank seeks time till November 26 to respond to CIC notice

New Delhi: Slapped with a show-cause notice to its Governor Urijit Patel from the CIC, the RBI has sought time till November 26 from the commission, highest adjudicating body in RTI matters, for furnishing its response. The case is likely to meet a dead end as Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu will complete his term in the panel on November 20 which will be his last date of working, sources said.

Acharyulu had asked the RBI to furnish response by November 16, but the bankers’ bank has now sought time till November 26, sources said. The Central Information Commission (CIC) had issued the notice to Urijit Patel as the RBI refused to disclose the list of big loan defaulters in spite of orders of the Supreme Court (Jayantilal Mistry case in 2015) which had asked the RBI to abide by one of the orders of the then Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi calling for the disclosure of the loan defaulters under the Right to Information Act.

Acharyulu had said that such defiance of Supreme Court orders cannot be at the level of Central Public Information Officer.
He said the RBI governor should be considered as deemed CPIO under the provisions of the RTI Act for not disclosing the information and explain why he should not face maximum penalty for obstructing information in spite of apex court orders.
Acharyulu overturned earlier position taken by a two-member bench of the commission comprising the then Information Commissioners Manjula Prasher and Sudhir Bhargava both former bureaucrats. They were hearing a case of activist Subhash Agrawal who had also sought the list of defaulters of Rs one crore and above under the RTI Act.

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