Husband lost appeal in CIC under RTI for disclosing info of wife account in DV Case
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Decision No. CIC/SM/A/2011/000915/SG/14935
Appeal No. CIC/SM/A/2011/000915SG
Relevant Facts emerging from the Appeal
Appellant : Mr. Shabeer Ahmed Sayeed, B2/T2, Rohini Garden Enclave,
Pattabiraman, Pillai street,
Respondent : Mr. Chandra Pal, Chief Manager & CPIO,
Oriental Bank of Commerce,
1st Floor, Land mark, No.21/15,
M.G Road, Bangalore-560001
RTI application filed on : 01/02/2011 PIO replied : 08/02/2011 First appeal filed on : 12/02/2011 First Appellate Authority order : 17/02/2011 Second Appeal received on : 08/03/2011
The Appellant in his RTI Application has sought information about his wife’s Account (No. 10572011000524) in OBC as she had filed a case of domestic violence against the Appellant and had claimed that “she was not given any monetary support”. The queries are as follows: S.No. Queries: 1 Provide a account statement of Smt. Seema Ahad who has a savings account in the Indira Nagar branch, from the date of opening of account to till date. 2 Is it a singly operated account or a Jointly operated account? 3 Provide certified photo copies of the Account no. 10572011000524, Savings bank account opening form?
Information cannot be provided since it is exempted under section 8 (1) (d) of the RTI Act 2005.
Grounds for First appeal:
Dissatisfied with the reply of the PIO.
The First Appellant Authority’s Order:
He seconds the decision of the PIO.
Grounds For Second Appeal:
The Appellant is aggrieved with the decision of the FAA.
Relevant Facts emerging during Hearing:
The following were present:
Appellant : Mr. Shabeer Ahmed Sayeed on video conferencing from NIC Studio Trichy; Respondent : Mr. Chandra Pal, Chief Manager & CPIO Oriental Bank of Commerce on video conferencing from NIC Studio Bengaluru
The Appellant has sought information about his wife’s bank account form the PIO. The Bank has claimed exemption from providing the information. The Appellant states that he needs the details of the said bank account to present it in Court in certain cases filed by his wife against him. This cannot be considered as a matter in larger public interest. The Bank holds information about its customers in a fiduciary relationship and the same is exempted under Section 8 (1) (e)
Section 8 (1) (e) of the RTI Act exempts from disclosure ‘information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information;’
The traditional definition of a fiduciary is a person who occupies a position of trust in relation to someone else, therefore requiring him to act for the latter’s benefit within the scope of that relationship. In business or law, we generally mean someone who has specific duties, such as those that attend a particular profession or role, e.g. doctor, lawyer, financial analyst or trustee. Another important characteristic of such a relationship is that the information must be given by the holder of information who must have a choice, – as when a litigant goes to a particular lawyer, a customer chooses a particular bank, or a patient goes to particular doctor. An equally important characteristic for the relationship to qualify as a fiduciary relationship is that the provider of information gives the information for using it for the benefit of the one who is providing the information. All relationships usually have an element of trust, but all of them cannot be classified as fiduciary. Information provided in discharge of a statutory requirement, or to obtain a job, or to get a license, cannot be considered to have been given in a fiduciary relationship.
In the instant case very clearly a fiduciary relationship exists, since customers of a Bank come to it because of the implicit trust they have; and they provide information to the Bank for their own benefit. Customers also have a choice of which bank they wish to approach. Hence unless a large public interest is shown the information is exempted from disclosure.
The Appeal is dismissed.
This decision is announced in open chamber.
Notice of this decision be given free of cost to the parties. Any information in compliance with this Order will be provided free of cost as per Section 7(6) of RTI Act.
29 September 2011
(In any correspondence on this decision, mention the complete decision number.) (ved)