SBI & Other Banks file petition in Supreme Court against revealing Information under RTI


Shivangi Prakash-

State Bank of India (SBI), HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, and IDFC Bank have joined forces to file a petition in the  Supreme Court  to challenge the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) direction for revealing inspection reports under the Right to Information (RTI) Act 

“We have the trust and faith of customers, how can that be disclosed to the general public under RTI,” SBI told the Apex Court. 

It said that people have turned the RTI act into a business, highlighting that the information they seek is confidential under the law and is subject to a statutory embargo.

Opposing allowing disclosure of big defaulters under RTI, SBI’s counsel told the top court, “How can we break customers’ trust by disclosing their personal info?”

The RBI has issued notifications to banks under Section 11(1) of the RTI Act, asking them to hand over material related to their inspection reports and risk assessments.

Earlier in July, the Supreme Court denied Punjab National Bank and Union Bank of India’s request to stay RBI letters requiring them to reveal information such as defaulters’ lists, inspection reports, and so on.

According to HDFC Bank, government authorities are obligated to disclose information under the RTI Act, but the act does not apply to commercial banks.

As per HDFC Bank, the apex bank’s inspection report contains information about the largest borrowers, and many parts of the RTI Act prevent the disclosure of third-party information.

“Why does a layman need inspection reports of 14 banks,” HDFC Bank questioned.

According to the Supreme Court, privacy is a Fundamental Right; hence account data and the number of transactions made by individuals cannot be published.

The matter will be heard by the Supreme Court on Thursday, July 22.

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