RBI Governor Urjit Patel served notice for not complying order

New Delhi: The Central Information Commission (CIC) has served a show cause notice to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Urjit Patel for not complying with apex court’s order on disclosure of names of individuals designated as “wilful defaulters”.

The CIC irked at RBI governor’s non-compliance of order to disclose information on individuals who have taken loans of or near Rs 50 crore from the RBI, the CIC asked Patel to why should not any action be taken against him, India news reports.

Questioning Patel, the CIC asked: “If a banking regulatory like RBI does not honour the constitutional institution’s directions, what will be the effect of the constitution on securing the rule of law? The RBI is liable to provide information regarding inspection report and other documents to the general public.”

“The commission feels that there is no match between what the RBI governor and the 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,” the order signed by Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said.

“The RBI shall disclose the bad debt details of defaulters worth more than Rs 1,000 crore at the beginning, of Rs 500 crore or less at later stage within five days and collect such information from the banks in due course to update their voluntary disclosures from time to time as a practice under Section 4(1)(b) of RTI Act. The appeal is posted on 16th November 2018 for compliance and penal proceedings,” the order further added.

As per rules, Section 7 allows RBI to obtain information from the banks and this information can only be in its discretion published in such consolidated form as RBI deems fit, the order said.

“The commission has no alternative except to hold the governor, Urjit R Patel, and other officers of the top management of this esteemed institution for dis-honouring the judgment and directions of the Supreme Court. 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,” stated the CIC’s order.

The commission has also sent separate notices to PMO’s and Finance Ministry seeking information and details regarding an RTI application which claimed the former RBI governor Sri Raghuram Rajan has handed over “a list of high profile fraud cases of non-performing assets to the PMO for a coordinated investigation.”

Now the commission has directed the CPIOs of the RBI, the PMO, and finance ministry’s office to explain the action taken on the list given by Rajan on or before November 16, 2018.