Tuesday, March 26, 2019

RTI info in 7 days or face contempt: SC to RBI

The Supreme Court on Tuesday threatened to pass punitive order against RBI for not abiding by its earlier verdict to make public its bank inspection report under the Right to Information Act and granted a week’s time to the central bank to comply.
A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and M R Shah reminded RBI that the apex court had way back in 2015 passed order directing the banking sector regulator to be more transparent in its operation and take action against those banks which have been practicing “disreputable business practices”. It pulled up RBI for its reluctance to disclose inspection reports of banks under transparency law despite clear directions of the apex court.
“We will haul you up for contempt if you do not reconsider your decision. We are giving you one week’s time to take a decision or we will pass an order against you,” the bench told the RBI counsel.
Senior advocate Joydeep Gupta, appearing for RBI, contended that the reports contain confidential information on banking operations and it was not feasible to make the entire report public. He said the apex court verdict did not direct to disclose the entire report and that the judgment should be re-examined. He said the fresh policy has been framed by RBI after the SC verdict.
The bench, however, made it clear that it will not go into the issue of re-examination of its earlier verdict and would decide the contempt petition against RBI on the premise that the verdict was right.

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