Shri Ratnesh Kumar Jain vs State Bank Of India on 25 August, 2009

Central Information Commission
Shri Ratnesh Kumar Jain vs State Bank Of India on 25 August, 2009
                           Central Information Commission
               Appeal No.CIC/PB/A/2008/01232-SM dated 05.03.2008
                 Right to Information Act-2005-Under Section (19)

                                                          Dated: 25 August 2009

Name of the Appellant             :   Shri Ratnesh Kumar Jain,
                                      A-1, Antriksh Apartments,
                                      Sector 14, Rohini, New Delhi.

Name of the Public Authority      :   CPIO, State Bank of India,
                                      Local Head Office, 10th Floor,
                                      11, Sansad Marg, New Delhi.


       The Appellant was represented by Shri Anil Kumar Jain.

       On behalf of the Respondent, the following were present:-

(i) Shri Anil Kumar Baheti, Manager (Law)

(ii) Shri Surender Rana, Chief Manager

(iii) Shri Shoor Veer Singh, Dy. Manager

The brief facts of this case are as under.

2. The Appellant had requested the CPIO on March 5, 2008 to let him
know if a certain account holder was operating his Bank account through
signature or thumb impression during a certain period. The CPIO replied on
April 15, 2008 and denied the information claiming exemption from
disclosure under Section 8(1) (e) and (j) of the Right to Information (RTI)
Act
. Not satisfied with this reply, the Appellant sent an appeal to the first
Appellate Authority on May 23, 2008. The Appellate Authority dismissed the
appeal by endorsing the decision of the CPIO and, additionally, citing the
exemption provision contained in Section 8(1) (d) of the RTI Act. The
Appellant has moved the CIC in second appeal against the above order.

3. The Appellant was not present during the hearing but arrived much
after the hearing was over and the Respondent had left. We heard his
submissions though. In this case, the Appellant had sought information
regarding the details of a third party customer and the manner he operated
his Bank account. In the absence of any ostensible larger public interest in
the disclosure of such information, the CPIO was right in denying it as such
information was being held by the Bank both in commercial confidence and

CIC/PB/A/2008/01232-SM
in a fiduciary capacity. The Appellant argued that he needed this
information in connection with a court case. He also informed us that the
account holder about whom he had sought the information had since passed
away. Thus, it is clear that there is no larger public interest involved in the
disclosure of this information. Besides, since the account holder has passed
away, it would be a real breach of trust and confidence he had reposed in
the Bank while opening his account if the information is disclosed now. In
any case, the Appellant has the option of requesting the court to summon
the relevant records from the Bank if it thinks fit to ascertain if the account
holder used his signature or thumb impression in his transactions during the
relevant period. We, therefore, find no infirmity in the decision of either
the CPIO or the Appellate Authority in declining the desired information.

4. To our pointed query on the apparent delay in the response of the
CPIO, the Respondent submitted that the application for information had
itself been received only on March 15 and therefore the reply dated April 15
was well within the stipulated period.

5. There is nothing more to be done in this case and it is, thus, disposed
off.

6. Copies of this order be given free of cost to the parties.

(Satyananda Mishra)
Information Commissioner

Authenticated true copy. Additional copies of orders shall be supplied
against application and payment of the charges prescribed under the Act to the
CPIO of this Commission.

(Vijay Bhalla)
Assistant Registrar

CIC/PB/A/2008/01232-SM

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