SC directs RBI to disclose information on bank inspection reports under RTI.

• The Supreme Court directed the RBI to review its policy to disclose information relating to banks under RTI, saying "it is duty bound under the law"

• The court said any further violation would invite contempt of court proceedings against the RBI

The Supreme Court on Friday said that the Reserve Bank of India was “duty bound" to disclose its annual inspection reports of banks along with the list of defaulters under the Right to Information (RTI) Act unless they are exempted under law.


A bench comprising Justices L Nageshwara Rao and M.R. Shah also directed RBI to withdraw its non-disclosure policy which is in violation to an order passed by Supreme Court in 2015 which had directed the central bank to disclose information under the provisions of RTI.

The RBI has been give 'one last opportunity' to comply with the orders. The SC said any further violation would invite contempt of court proceedings against the RBI.

RTI activists Girish Mittal and Subhash Chandra Agrawal had moved the top court for contempt action against the RBI for not complying with the apex court's direction to disclose information under the RTI Act.

In December 2015, the petitioner under the RTI Act had sought certain information, which included copies of inspection reports of ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank and State Bank of India from April 2011 to December 2015.

However, the central bank denied disclosure of information saying such information was exempted under Section 8(1)(e) of the RTI Act and Section 45NB of the Reserve Bank of India Act.

The top court then said the central bank cannot deny information to an information seeker under the transparency law unless the material is exempted from disclosure under the law. The RBI had defended its position by stating that it cannot disclose information as the annual inspection report of the bank contained "fiduciary" information. (Source: Livemint)

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