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Court stays information panel’s order on banks

The Delhi High Court Thursday stayed a Central Information Commission (CIC) order asking the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) to give details of inspection reports of cooperative banks to a Right to Information (RTI) applicant.

Justice Vipin Sanghi stayed the order against the rural development bank in view of a similar pending case before it, which is scheduled to be taken up Feb 13, 2012.

The court issued notice to RTI applicant Krishan Lal Mittal and said the case related to his RTI plea would be heard on the same day.

The petition was filed by NABARD, seeking relief against the order of the CIC directing it to provide information on inspection reports of cooperative banks to Mittal.

Mittal, apart from seeking the inspection reports, asked for details of correspondence since January 2010 among NABARD, the Maharashtra government and the Reserve Bank of India regarding Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank.

He had also sought minutes of the meeting of board of directors of NABARD from April 2007.

The Public Information Officer (PIO) rejected Mittal’s appeal to provide such information on the ground that disclosure of the reports would adversely affect the economic interests of the state.

On second appeal, the information commissioner directed the rural development bank to provide the copies of the inspection reports before Dec 10.

In a similar case, the high court earlier stayed an order of the CIC directing the Reserve Bank of India to provide details of the inspection reports relating to a cooperative bank to an RTI applicant. The matter is listed for hearing Feb 13.

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