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Shri.Narayandas Hiralaji Sarda vs Syndicate Bank on 24 November, 2011

Central Information Commission
Shri.Narayandas Hiralaji Sarda vs Syndicate Bank on 24 November, 2011
                       CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
                           Club Building (Near Post Office)
                         Old JNU Campus, New Delhi - 110067
                                Tel: +91-11-26161796

                                                         Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2011/002302/15903
                                                                 Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2011/002302

Relevant facts emerging from the Appeal:

Appellant                            :       Mr. Narayandas Hiralaji Sarda
                                             Plot No. 139, Wardhaman Nagar,
                                             Nagpur - 440008

Respondent                           :       PIO
                                             Syndicate Bank
                                             90, Canal Road,
                                             Ramdaspeth, Nagpur - 440010

RTI application filed on             :      12-04-2011
PIO replied on                       :      26-04-2011
First Appeal filed on                :      24-05-2011
First Appellate Authority order of   :      24-06-2011
Second Appeal received on            :      24-08-2011

Information Sought:-
The Appellant has sought the following information:-
(i) Subject matter of information:
NAGPUR BUSINESS FORMS PVT. LTD.
REGD OFFICE 84 CA NAGPUR
TERM LOAN AND WORKING CAPITAL

(ii) Period to which the information relates:
WORKING CAPITAL LIMIT & STOCK STATEMENT OF NBF COMPANY & STOCK
CHECK BY BANK FROM 01/04/2010 TO 31/03/2011 MONTHLY

(iii) Description of information required: (Details may be attached on additional A4 size paper if
required)
CERTIFY COPY WORKING CAPITAL LIMIT & MONTHY STOCK STATEMENT OF
THE COMPANY & STOCK CERTIFY BY BANK

(iv) Whether information is required by post or in person : BY HAND

(v) Incase by post (Ordinary, Registered or Speed):

(vi) XEROX COPY OF HIGH COURT ORDER OF ARBITATION AND ARBITRATION
AGREEMENT COPY SIGN BY GOVINDLAL SARDA, NARAYANDAS
SARDA.HAR!KISHAN SARDA LIST OF COMPAY MATTER IN ARBITATION NBF

PIO's Reply:-
The appellant was provided with the following reply :-
The information as sought in your application is relating to the personal accounts of our customers, as
far as you are concerned, customer of the Bank is third party and no public interest is observed in your
request. Also the information sought is of commercial confidence and trade secret. Hence, the

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 information cannot be revealed under Section 8 (1) (j) and under Section 8(1) (d) respectively of the
RTI Act 2005.
Further, the information sought by you pertains to customers of the bank. Under Section 13 of the
Banking Companies (Acquisition & Transfer of Undertakings) Ac 1970, banks are prohibited from
revealing the information relating to their customers. Hence, the information sought cannot be
revealed to you. Also the information sought by you would disproportionably divert the resources of
the Public Authority and is exempted under section 7(9) of the RTI Act.

Grounds for the First Appeal:
Unsatisfactory reply was given by PIO.

Order of the First Appellate Authority (FAA):
I have gone through all the papers placed before me and observe that the reply of the PIO is in order.
You may be a share holder of the company. But the Bank is not empowered to reveal the account
details of its customers/account holder (M/s. Nagpur Business Forms in the present ease) to the
shareholders of the Company. As per Banking Companies Act, 1970, Banker has to maintain
confidentiality of account details of its customer. Hence, rejection of your application by the PIO is in
Order. I do not find any merit in your appeal hence rejected.

Ground of the Second Appeal:
Unsatisfactory reply was given by the PIO and Unsatisfactory Order was passed by the FAA.

Relevant Facts

emerging during Hearing:

The following were present
Appellant : Mr. Murthy, Advocate representing Mr. Narayandas Hiralaji Sarda on video conference
from NIC-Nagpur Studio;

Respondent : Absent;

The Appellant claims that he is a shareholder of Nagpur Business Forms Pvt. Ltd. and hence he
is entitled to get information on its bank transactions. As far as the bank is concerned it will recognize
the company or its authorized signatories and every shareholder of the Bank cannot be given
information of the Company by the Bank. .

The Bank has denied the information claiming exemption under Section 8(1)(e) of the RTI Act.
Section 8(1)(e) of the RTI Act exempts information which is held in a fiduciary capacity by the public
authority.

Section 8 (1) (e) of the RTI Act exempts from disclosure ‘information available to a person in his
fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants
the disclosure of such information;’

The traditional definition of a fiduciary is a person who occupies a position of trust in relation to
someone else, therefore requiring him to act for the latter’s benefit within the scope of that
relationship. In business or law, we generally mean someone who has specific duties, such as those
that attend a particular profession or role, e.g. doctor, lawyer, financial analyst or trustee. Another
important characteristic of such a relationship is that the information must be given by the holder of
information who must have a choice,- as when a litigant goes to a particular lawyer, a customer
chooses a particular bank, or a patient goes to particular doctor. An equally important characteristic for
the relationship to qualify as a fiduciary relationship is that the provider of information gives the
information for using it for the benefit of the one who is providing the information. All relationships
usually have an element of trust, but all of them cannot be classified as fiduciary. Information provided
in discharge of a statutory requirement, or to obtain a job, or to get a license, cannot be considered to
have been given in a fiduciary relationship.

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In the instant case very clearly a fiduciary relationship exists, since customers of a Bank come to it
because of the implicit trust they have; and they provide information to the Bank for their own benefit.
Customers also have a choice of which bank they wish to approach. Hence unless a large public
interest is shown the information is exempted from disclosure. In the instant case no larger public
interest has been demonstrated.

Decision:

The appeal is disposed.

The information sought by the Appellant is exempted under Section 8(1)(e) of the
RTI Act.

This decision is announced in open chamber.

Notice of this decision be given free of cost to the parties.
Any information in compliance with this Order will be provided free of cost as per Section 7(6) of RTI Act.

Shailesh Gandhi
Information Commissioner
24 November 2011
(In any correspondence on this decision, mention the complete decision number.) (HA)

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