CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
Dated, the 04 November, 2010.
Appellant : Shri Chakradhar Panigrahi
Respondent : State Bank of India, Mumbai
Pursuant to Commission's notice dated 27.09.2010, this matter came up for hearing on 08.10.2010. Appellant was present in person, while the respondents were represented by Shri R.P. Singh, AGM (Law).
2. Appellant's RTIapplication dated 08.05.2010 was for certified true copies of current relevant bank's manual on loans and advances pertaining to micro and small enterprises.
3. The requested information has been denied to him by CPIO and Appellate Authority, who claimed that it was exempted from disclosure under Section 8(1)(d) of the RTI Act.
4. I do not agree with the reasoning of the respondents. The policies and procedures followed by the Bank in matters of microfinance touch the lives of millions of people. There is good reason why these policies as well as the procedures established thereof should be in the public domain in order that the customers of the Bank and the potential customers for microfinance are suitably made aware about all its pros and cons before taking the decision to become a loanee of the Bank. I fail to understand as to how such an important policy/procedure if disclosed would jeopardize the bank's commercial interest visavis others or impair its intellectual property rights. In fact this information ought to have been put CIC_AT_A_2010_000596_M_45183.doc up on the public domain suomotu by the Bank for the public's knowledge. The State Bank of India discharges an extremely important public responsibility and citing technical reasons to prevent disclosure of an essential information such as this, does not do justice to its standing and image.
5. In my view, the information as requested by this appellant must be disclosed in public interest. I would urge the Bank that they voluntarily place this information on the website for the information of the general public.
6. It is directed that the requested information be transmitted to the appellant by the CPIO within two weeks.
7. Appeal allowed.
8. Copy of this direction be sent to the parties.
( A.N. TIWARI )
CHIEF INFORMATION COMMISSIONER
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