Information about the lowest settlement by a bank of any non- performing asset12 Apr, 2012
The appellant sought information related to lowest settlement by the bank of any non performing asset. The Public Information Officer (PIO) rejected the application stating that information cannot be provided as the appellant has not cited any specific case in which he himself was the party. On appeal, the First Appellate Authority endorsed the decision of the PIO.
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The Central Information Commission observed that it was difficult to make out which exact case of settlement the appellant is referring to. The 'lowest settlement done' is a vague expression which hardly makes any sense. The comparative evaluation of anything requires a matrix against which the relative status of any particular unit can be measured. In this case, no such matrix has been suggested. Lowest can refer to the smallest loan by amount settled by the bank or it can mean the lowest amount for which any loan has ever been settled. In any case, unless the bank maintains such cases in descending order, it is impossible for the PIO to find out which loan can be said to be the lowest. The Commission rejected the appeal stating that the RTI queries do not amount to information as defined under section 2(f) “information” means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force; of the RTI Act.
This decision highlights the need for proper drafting of the applications to ensure that the information sought is provided.
Citation: Smt. T R Bhuvaneshwari v Punjab National Bank in File no. CIC/SM/A/2011/000676
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/205
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