Information Panel Sends Notice To RBI Chief Over Wilful Defaulters’ List

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Central Information Commission sent a show-cause notice to RBI Governor Urjit Patel

New Delhi:

The Central Information Commission has issued a show-cause notice to RBI Governor Urjit Patel for "dishonouring" a Supreme Court judgment on disclosure of wilful defaulters' list. The CIC has also asked the Prime Minister's Office, the Finance Ministry and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to make public the letter of former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan on bad loans.

Irked over denial of information on disclosure of the names of wilful defaulters who have taken bank loans of Rs 50 crore and above by the RBI despite a Supreme Court order, the CIC has asked Mr Patel to explain why a maximum penalty be not imposed on him for "dishonouring" the verdict, which had upheld a decision taken by then Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi, calling for disclosure of names of wilful defaulters.

Mr Patel, speaking on September 20 at the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), had said the guidelines on vigilance, issued by the CVC were aimed at achieving greater transparency, promoting a culture of honesty and probity in public life and improving the overall vigilance administration in the organisations within its purview, the CIC pointed out.

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"The Commission feels that there is no match between what RBI Governor and Deputy Governor say and their website regarding their RTI policy, and great secrecy of vigilance reports and inspection reports is being maintained with impunity in spite of the Supreme Court confirming the orders of the CIC…" Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said.

He said it did not serve any purpose in punishing the CPIO for this defiance, because he acted under the instructions of the top authorities.

"The Commission considers the Governor as deemed PIO responsible for non-disclosure and defiance of SC orders and CIC orders and directs him to show cause why maximum penalty should not be imposed on him for these reasons, before November 16, 2018," Mr Acharyulu said.

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