It is illegal for RBI to hold information of loan defaulters: CIC Sridhar Acharyulu

Source: ENS | Published on 6th November 2018, 10:29 AM | National News |

New Delhi: Just after CIC slapped show cause notice to the RBI governor Urjit Patel for non-disclosure of wilful defaulters list, Central Information Commissioner (CIC) M Sridhar Acharyulu on Monday said that in his view it is “illegal” for the RBI to hold information.

When asked about if he feels the RBI was unduly secretive about the information of big loan defaulters, Acharyulu replied that “it is illegal, in my opinion”.

The CIC's statement comes after it served a show cause notice to RBI governor Urjit Patel in its Judgement dated November 2 for non-disclosure of wilful defaulters list.

He went on to add that the notice was issued to the governor and not CPIO, as CIC felt that the higher authorities were “obstructing” information

“There is a provision in the act that every official has to assist CPIO in giving information, in this case it was not given to the CPIO. In this case the commission can question the other official as the deemed CPIO,” Acharyulu told TNIE, explaining why sow cause notice was served to the RBI governor and not the CPIO, in this case.

Asserting that the Supreme Court has already rejected the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) objections against releasing the names of wilful defaulters, he added that RBI must disclose the information and if it fails to respond to the show cause notice the commission can go ahead for penalty.

“The apex court had already considered all the objections of RBI and then said that information has to be disclosed. Now they are raising the same objections which have been already rejected by the Supreme Court,” he added.

The CIC in its order had asked the RBI governor why he shouldn’t be facing the maximum penalty for “dishonouring” the SC verdict. “CIC orders and directs him to show cause why the maximum penalty should not be imposed on him for these reasons, before November 16, 2018,” Acharyulu said.

The Commission in its order on Friday had also directed the CPIOs of the RBI, the PMO and office of the Finance Minister to explain the action taken on the ‘alerting letter’ written by former Governor of RBI Raghuram Rajan on February 5, 2015, before November 16, 2018.

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