SC issues contempt notice to RBI in RTI case
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on a contempt petition which alleged that the central bank did not provide information sought about the inspection reports of some banks and on the alleged irregularities in the case of Sahara Group of companies under the transparency law.
A bench headed by Justice Nageshwar Rao issued the notice on a petition filed by a Mumbai resident who contended that the RBI had refused to part with the sought information despite apex court rulings on the issue.
The petitioner, Girish Mittal, represented by senior counsel Prashant Bhushan and Pranav Sachdeva, contended that he had sought information under the RTI Act in December 2015 like copies of inspection reports of ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank and SBI from April 2011 and copies of cases files with file notings on various irregularities detected by RBI in the case of Sahara Group of companies and erstwhile Bank of Rajasthan.
The contempt petition is concerned with the “denial of information”, he said.
The petition recalled the Supreme Court ruling in a case that RBI is clearly not in any fiduciary relationship with any bank. RBI has no legal duty to maximise the benefit of any public sector or private sector bank and thus there is no relationship of ‘trust’ between them.
“The RBI ought to act with transparency and not hide information that might embarrass individual banks. It is duty bound to comply with the provisions of the RTI Act and disclose the information sought,” the apex court had observed in that case.