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SC directs RBI to disclose information on defaulters list, NPAs of banks under RTI

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New Delhi, Apr 26: The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was duty bound to disclose information related to wilful defaulters.

The SC took a serious view of non-disclosure of this information by the central bank and said that any further violation would invite contempt of court proceedings.

SC directs RBI to disclose information on defaulters list, NPAs of banks under RTI

The apex court also directed the federal bank to review its policy to disclose information relating to banks under RTI.

Rafale: Explained, can RTI override the Official Secrets Act?

A bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao directed the federal bank to review its policy to disclose information relating to banks under RTI, saying it is 'duty bound' under the law.

The bench, which did not go ahead with contempt proceedings against the RBI, made it clear that it was giving a last opportunity to it to comply with provisions of the transparency law. "Any further violation shall be viewed seriously," the bench said.

In January this year, the top court had issued contempt notice to RBI for not disclosing annual inspection report of banks under RTI.

Earlier, the apex court and the Central Information Commission (CIC), both had held that the RBI cannot deny information to an information seeker under the transparency law unless the material is exempted from disclosure under the law.

The RBI, in its defence, had said that it cannot disclose information as the annual inspection report of the bank contained "fiduciary" information as defined under the transparency law.

The bench was hearing a contempt petition filed by RTI activist S C Agrawal against the RBI.

(with PTI inputs)

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