Friday, July 30, 2010

Indian Institute of Banking and Finance (IIBF) is beyond RTI ambit: Delhi HC

Indian Institute of Banking and Finance (IIBF) is beyond RTI ambit: Delhi HC

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today said an organisation cannot be forced to disclose information under the RTI Act just because it is substantially financed by PSUs and held that the Indian Institute of Banking and Finance (IIBF) is not a public authority.
IIBF is a professional body of banks, managed by a board comprising members from PSU banks, with its membership of over 700 banks and financial institutions as its institutional members.

The court said an organisation should be funded by the appropriate government in order to make it liable to public scrutiny under the transparency law.
The court passed the order while setting aside the order of Central Information Commission of declaring Indian Institute of Banking and Finance(IIBF) a public authority.

"It is possible that the member banks, for instance, the State Bank of India, is itself a public authority. However, substantial financing by the SBI would itself not make it a public authority. It would have to be shown that the appropriate government itself directly or indirectly finances or has financed it," justice S Muralidhar said.
The CIC, in its order, had justified declaring IIBF as a public body saying the executive bodies of the Institute are substantially manned by senior executives of public sector banks and the bulk of its finances also come directly or indirectly from those banks.
"The Institute, a non-governmental organisation, being substantially financed by public sector banks directly and indirectly, is nothing but a public authority," the CIC had said.
Setting aside the order, Justice Muralidhar said "this Court is not able to concur with the impugned order of the CIC dated February 9, 2010 which is hereby set aside".

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