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CIC reprimands J&K Bank for denying information

Jammu and Kashmir Bank gets rebuked by Central Information Commission (CIC) for deliberately denying information under the Right to Information Act even after being declared Public Authority.

As per reports, an appellant filed the RTI application dated January 5, 2019 seeking information on financing of solar lights by the bank. Under this scheme finance was given and how much number of people was given the subsidies after taking loan from the bank for purchase of solar lights in the remote areas of Doda district. Feeling distressed over not getting any information, appellant approached the then State Information Commission with a Second Appeal. The SIC vide its interim order dated 28.08.2019 instructed PIO of J&K Bank to provide information to the appellant within a period of 15 days from the date of receipt of the order.

Even then bank did not provide with the information and appellant went to CIC.

Chief Information Commissioner Y K Sinha said, “there remains no question that the J&K Bank is a Public Authority, in terms of the order dated 24.04.2012 passed by the State Information Commission J&K”, adding “the order dated 24.04.2012 attained finality when the Writ Petition No. 616/2012 was withdrawn by the J&K Bank. The subsequent order dated 28.08.2019 clarifies these facts”.

Due to non presence of anyone on behalf of J&K bank during the virtual hearing, Sinha said that such disrespect and disregard is not accepted.

The CIC instructed the respondent to submit a reply to the show cause notice which has been issued, explaining the reasons of not replying to the RTI application and also justify why no penal action should be initiated against him in terms of the RTI Act, 2005.

Commission clearly has instructed to reply by 15.10.202, failing which action shall be taken on the basis of available records.

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