New Delhi: The Supreme Court, on Friday, directed the Reserve Bank of India to disclose information about its annual inspection report of banks and the list of wilful defaulters under the Right to Information Act.
A bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao was hearing contempt petitions filed by RTI activists Subhash Chandra Agrawal and Girish Mittal against the RBI. And ordered the central bank to disclose the information unless exempted under law.
The bench did not go ahead with contempt proceedings against the RBI and made it clear that it is the last opportunity to it to comply with provisions of the transparency law. The bench said it would have taken a serious view to the refusal of RBI to part with information under RTI. The bench said, “any further violation shall be viewed seriously.”
SC earlier in January this year, issued contempt notice to RBI for not disclosing annual inspection report of banks under RTI. Following this the apex court and the Central Information Commission, both had held that the RBI cannot deny information to an information seeker under the transparency law unless the material is exempted from disclosure under the law.
Meanwhile, in its defence the RBI said that it cannot disclose information as the annual inspection report of the bank contained “fiduciary” information as defined under the transparency law.