Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Collection of information by public authority from private entity

Collection of information by public authority from private entity

Section 2f of RTI Act 2005-Information of private entities [to which RTI Act is not directly applicable] to be provided by public authorities/Regulators which control such private entities. There are two contradictory judgments of Hon’ble Supreme Court. However later in date judgment should be effective.

Some regulators especially RBI is quoting judgment dated      09-11-2011 to deny collection and supply of information held by a private entity. Subsequent judgement dated 07-10-2013 is bypassed as it is pro-information seeker.

I am appending verbatim relevant paragraphs of two judgements and source of these paragraphs. Please make use of judgment dated 07-10-2013 in first or second appeal or as a note in RTI application itself.

Source:
CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
File No. CIC/BS/A/2013/000389+000421+000692/5281
Date of Decision: 06 June 2014
Mr. Akshay Kumar Malhotra v/s Telecom Regulatory Authority of India

EXTRACT from following judgement dated 07-10-2013 in case of CIVIL APPEAL NO. 9017 OF 2013 (Arising out of SLP (C) No.24290 of 2012):

“Hon’ble Supreme Court in its subsequent decision dated 07.10.2013 in the case of Thalappalam Ser. Coop. Bank Ltd. and others versus State of Kerala, relevant extracts whereof are as hereunder:

“52. Registrar of Cooperative Societies functioning under the Cooperative Societies Act is a public authority within the meaning of Section 2(h) of the Act. As a public authority, Registrar of Co-operatives Societies has been conferred with lot of statutory powers under the respective Act under which he is functioning. He is also duty bound to comply with the obligations under the RTI Act and furnish information to a citizen under the RTI Act. Information which he is expected to provide is the information enumerated in Section 2(f) of the RTI Act subject to the limitations
provided under Section 8 of the Act…………………………………………
………………………………………….
Consequently, apart from the information as is available to him, under Section 2(f), he can also gather that information from the Society, to the extent permitted by law. Registrar is also not obliged to disclose those information if those information fall under Section 8(1)(j) of the Act.
…………………………………………………………………………
……………………… But the demand should have statutory backing”

_____________________________________________________________________

EARLIER SC JUDGEMENT EXTRACT:

The Supreme Court in CBSE vs. AdityaBandopadhyay, (2011)
SCC 497, [ decided on 09-08-2011 IN CIVIL APPEAL NO.6454 OF 2011[Arising out of SLP [C] No.7526/2009]]  has held as under:-
63. At this juncture, it is necessary to clear some misconceptions about the RTI Act. The RTI Act provides access to all information that is available and existing. This is clear from a combined reading of Section 3 and the definitions of “information” and “right to information” under clauses (f) and (j) of Section 2 of the Act. If a public authority has any information in the form of data or analysed data, or abstracts, or statistics, an applicant may access such information, subject to the exemptions in Section 8 of the Act. But where the information sought is not a part of the record of a public authority, and where such information is not required to be maintained under any law or the rules or regulations of the public authority, the Act does not cast an obligation upon the public authority, to collect or collate such non-available information and then furnish it to an applicant. A public authority is also not required to furnish information which require drawing of inferences and/or making of assumptions. It is also not required to provide “advice” or “opinion” to an applicant, nor required to obtain and furnish any “opinion” or “advice” to an applicant. The reference to “opinion” or “advice” in the definition of “information” in Section 2(f) of the Act, only refers to such material available in the records of the public authority. Many public authorities have, as a public relation exercise, provide advice, guidance and opinion to the citizens. But that is purely voluntary and should not be confused with any obligation under the RTI Act.”

Note: Please refer my article “Private Party under RTI” in my blog www. jps50.blogspot.in at https://jps50.blogspot.in/search/label/RTI?updated-max=2009-01-24T18:54:00%2B05:30&max-results=20&start=133&by-date=false


15082017

Friday, July 07, 2017

PROTECTION OF BANK CUSTOMER AGAINST DIGITAL FRAUDS

I am happy to note that after filing RTI to know status of above issue with RBI and addressing letter dated 29-06-2017 to Dy. Governor RBI with copy to Ministry of Fiance, Dept of Financial Services [which is uploaded on this blog], RBI has  issued operative circular dated 06-07-2017 and is uploaded on its website at:

https://www.rbi.org.in/Scripts/NotificationUser.aspx?Id=11040&Mode=0

Citizens have to be alert and chase patiently govt, its department and regulators for sensitizing.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

PROTECTION OF CUSTOMERS FROM DIGITAL BANKING FRAUDS

Date: 29-06-2017                                                                             By Email

To
Dy. Governor,
Reserve Bank of India
Shahid Bhagat Singh Rd,
Ford, Mumbai 400001

Respected Sir,

Subject: Customer Protection – Limiting Liability of Customers in Unauthorised
Electronnic Banking Transaction.

I thank RBI for initiating various steps to protect common customers and ensuring fair treatment to them. However of late I feel process is slowed down to the detriment of common Indian who is now forced to resort to digital banking, with no cover for his protection. Even frauds above Rs.10000 up to Rs.100000/- have been absolved from police complaint/FIR by bank branches, vide CVC circular No. 06/06/17 dated 14-06-2017, if staff is not involved.

RBI had issued draft circular No DBR. No.Leg.BC/09.07.0005/2016-17 dated        11-08-2016 for public consultation. Due to digital India initiative of Central Govt and in absence of proper education in digital banking, such frauds have multiplied many folds, specially against house wives, senior citizens, villagers, illiterate or semi literate citizens and those who are not tech-savvy. Lack of protection umbrella to said strata of population will have serious consequences for middle and lower class which may ultimately puncture digital initiative.

Hence above initiative is need of the hour. However though draft circular was issued in Aug 2016, policy and operative circulars have not been issued by RBI. Vide my enclosed RTI application and its reply, it is clear that RBI is still in process of finalizing the issue. Such delay has already caused financial loss in crores to common citizens and digital frauds in banks are multiplying at alarming rate. I am enclosing two paper cuttings  just for your reference. In addition, I know net banking frauds of nearly 80.00 lakhs committed in Rajkot and for Rs.78.00 lakhs in Vadodara [this fraud is reported in Gujarati news papers yesterday and also today]

This inordinate delay in issuing policy and operative circular is causing immense tension in using digital banking despite near-compulsory mandate of Govt. for digital financial transactions. I have guided many citizens who lost money due to digital frauds. My experience with Banks had been horrible.


I humbly urge to expedite the matter and ensure that system is put in place so that liability of customers for unauthorized electronic banking transactions is reduced to zero.

Thanking you

Yours faithfully,


J P Shah
Encls: a/a

Copy by email to: Addl Secretary [Banking],
 Dept of Financial Services, MoF, New Delhi
Email: as-dfs@nic.in


–with a request to sensitize RBI for urgent action 

Monday, June 19, 2017

REPORTING OF FRAUDS IN BANKS- CVC DIRECTIVES

Date: 19-06-2017

To,
1. Central Vigilance Commission, New Delhi

2. Reserve Bank of India, Dept of Banking Supervision, Central Office, Mumbai
[ on https://www.rbi.org.in/Scripts/helpdesk.aspx]

Dear Sirs,

Subject: Frauds in Public Sector Banks above Rs.10000 and Below Rs.100000/-

Vide circular No. 06/06/17 dated 14-06-2017, CVC has advised public sector banks not to report above frauds to State Police if staff is not involved, in view of practical difficulties faced by PSBs. This has been decided by CVC in consultation with RBI. Only internal enquiry is to be conducted by Banks.

Such a decision will encourage and facilitate online fraudsters to defraud small depositors in banks committing each fraud below Rs.100000/- and get immunity from police action, except if the account holder files complaint or FIR with State Police. Such a complaint by common man is not taken seriously by Police [practical difficulty of common man], However, if complaint or FIR is filed by Central Govt entity, usually it is taken little seriously. With digital India initiative of Govt, such cyber frauds will increase many folds in near future and common account holder will be looted without any help. I am attaching two news paper cuttings as examples. RBI is yet to come out with policy and operative guidelines for zero liability of victim of fraud. Common man cannot be made to lose his hard earned money for convenience of Banks.

Only police has powers to question transferee banks/wallets of defrauded amount. Similarly only police can get information of mobile SIM, which is used to get OTP/CVV/password and details of debit card. PSB has no such power to get the information of accounts or stop further transfer of defrauded amount. Only police can stop further transfer or withdrawal from transferee bank/wallet. In absence of this information fraudsters cannot be located. Hence name, address etc of fraudster will never come to light and common citizen will not get back amount.

This decision is not in the interest of common account holders and I request CVC and RBI to review the same. I shall be shortly seeking from CVC and RBI information, which lead to such anti-citizen decision, under RTI Act

Copy to: Dept of Fiancial Services, Ministry of Finance, GoI, New Delhi


Friday, June 09, 2017

Auto-Renewal of Term Deposit Receipts – Suggestion

Date: 07-06-2017                                                                             by email

TO CGM, RBI CONSUMER EDUCATION AND PROTECTION DEPT MUMBAI 

To,
Chief General Manager
Consumer Education and Protection Department
Reserve Bank of India
1st Floor, Amar Building, Sir P.M. Road,
Mumbai-400 001

Respected Sir,

Subject: Auto-Renewal of Term Deposit Receipts – Suggestion

I have experienced that very few banks convey details of auto-renewal of term deposits to customers either by email or SMS or hard copy. The system of the bank auto-renews as per standing mandate at the time of initial deposit, without giving details of auto-renewed deposit receipt as to rate of interest, maturity value, next due date etc. Thus depositors are in dark as to details of auto renewed term deposit receipts to the customer. Such a situation is anti-consumer and breaches right to know. RBI too will not appreciate such secrecy by banks, when money belongs to depositors and on which banks survive.

I humbly suggest that Banks should be advised to mandatorily advise vital information of auto-renewed term deposit by email or SMS or in hard copy.

Thanking you,
Yours faithfully,
 J P Shah

Copy by email to:
Consumer Education and Research Centre, Ahmedabad.