Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel has been served a show-cause notice by the Central Information Commission, the Right to Information watchdog, for “dishonouring” a Supreme Court judgment on the disclosure of the names of individuals designated as “wilful defaulters”. The move comes in the middle of an ongoing tussle between the central bank and the government.
Irked by an alleged denial of information on people who have taken bank loans of Rs. 50 crore and above by the RBI despite a Supreme Court order, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked Patel to explain why a maximum penalty be not imposed on him for “dishonouring” the verdict.
“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 Central Public Information Officer or 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,” Acharyulu said.
The CIC has also asked the Prime Minister’s Office, the Finance Ministry and the RBI to make public the letter of former central bank governor Raghuram Rajan on bad loans