Delhi High Court pulls up RBI for delay in filing response to PIL

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court rapped the RBI on Friday for its "callous", "careless" and "negligent" attitude in not filing a response, from February till date, to a PIL seeking to stop banks from sharing the PAN and financial transaction data of clients with credit rating agencies without the customers' formal consent. A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar directed the deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to be personally present before the court on October 11, the next date of hearing, if no response and a "vakalatnama" were filed on its behalf by then.

The court was displeased that since the issuance of notice in the matter on February 9, the RBI had neither filed an affidavit nor a ‘vakalatnama’ — a document authorising a lawyer to represent a client—despite three sets of lawyers appearing for it on three different dates since then. "The RBI has shown a callous and careless attitude in not filing an affidavit or a vakalatnama, despite issuance of notice on February 9, 2019. It appears that the RBI is negligent in assisting in the matter.

It is high time to direct presence of senior officers before us if no affidavit and vakalatnama are filed before the next date," the bench said. "We, therefore, direct the deputy governor of the RBI to be personally present before us on the next date or file an affidavit and a vakalatnama through an advocate," it added.

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