Details of Padmanabha Swamy Temple account asked under RTI
The appellant sought details about bank account of Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple and the details of the account including date of opening, nature of account, account number, name and address of the Executive Officer/authorized representative who operated the account etc. The PIO stated the information sought by appellant in respect of the account, if any, of Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple cannot be furnished because it is third party personal information which is exempt under Section 8 (1) (j) and section 8 (1) (d) of RTI Act. Further, under Section 13 of Banking Companies Act, 1970, a Banker has to maintain the secrecy of account details of its customers. On appeal, the FAA observed that even though the temple may be public, when anybody opens an account with the bank, it is the bounden duty of the Bank to maintain secrecy of all account details.
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The Central Information Commission referred to Section 8 (1) (e) of the RTI Act which 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. Observing that the 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 while having the choice of the bank they wish to approach, the Commission rejected the appeal. The Commission ruled that the details of a Bank’s customer are held by the Bank in fiduciary capacity and hence is exempt under Section 8(1)(e) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, 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; of the RTI Act.
Citation: Mr. R Padmanabhan v. Syndicate Bank in file no. CIC/SG/A/2011/003684
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/107
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission