The RBI has been told not to disclose sensitive bank reports under RTI as for now

The RBI has been told not to disclose sensitive bank reports under RTI as for now

The Supreme Court of India had given directions to the Reserve Bank of India that they shall not disclose any data relating to the reports of inspection, risk assessment reports as well as financial inspection reports of banks, which includes the State Bank of India under the Right to Information Act currently.

The decision has been a part of an application that has been filed through banks, which stated that such information shall not be made public without first providing them with a chance in order to oppose it. The Supreme Court of India had previously permitted the Reserve Bank of India in the year 2015 towards releasing such information to the applicants of RTI or risk contempt of court.

As per reports, there are a load of RTI applications at the Reserve Bank of India from the time when the Court had ruled that the banking regulator should disclose all the information under RTI, but excluding those that are barred under the law.

The banks then went to the Supreme Court looking for relief. The lenders are specifically HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank as well as SBI, which were affected by the alleged disclosure of one such report.

The inspection reports, risk assessment reports, yearly financial inspection reports of the banks which includes State Bank of India would not be released by the Reserve Bank of India till further orders given by the Court. The interim order shall remain effectual until the court completes examining the details which are involved in the matter.

Banks had earlier filed an appeal for a review as well as recall of the 2015 ruling, which is pending and yet to be decided.

The Supreme Court had directed on 16th December 2015, that the RBI should, in the interest of transparency as well as accountability, release every of the information sought from it except those exempted as per the RTI.

The RBI had contested this on the ground that such information has been held by it in a fiduciary capacity and could not be shared. However, the Court dismissed this argument. It also contended that releasing such sensitive information shall only undermine public confidence in the banking system and have a contrary impact on the economy, but the court also rejected that.

Irrespective of the order, the RBI kept turning away information seekers, mentioning a fresh non-disclosure policy. One RTI applicant finally moved to the Supreme Court for looking for contempt action against the regulator.

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