The Supreme Court on July 23 issued a notice on petitions filed by Punjab National Bank (PNB) and UCO Bank against the disclosure of annual inspection reports under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
Earlier on July 3, the top court had refused to grant interim stay on Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI's) notice asking Punjab National Bank to disclose information such as the defaulters’ list and its inspection reports under the RTI Act and sought responses from the Centre, Federal Bank, and its central public information officer.
The Supreme Court had previously issued notices on pleas by the State Bank of India (SBI), HDFC Bank, IDFC First against disclosure of inspection reports.
Several banks have challenged the order from RBI directing them to disclose inspection reports under the RTI Act.
Banks are aggrieved by the notices issued by the RBI to them under Section 11(1) of the RTI Act asking them to part with information pertaining to their inspection reports and risk assessment.
The RTI Act empowers the RBI's central public information officer (CPIO) to seek information from banks for information seekers.
Earlier on April 28, the top court, on legal grounds, had refused to recall its famous 2015 judgment in the Jayantilal N Mistry case, which had held that the RBI will have to provide information about banks and financial institutions (FIs) regulated by it under the transparency law.
Several FIs and banks, including Canara Bank, Bank of Baroda, UCO Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank had filed applications in the top court seeking a recall of the 2015 judgment in the Jayantilal N Mistry case, saying the verdict had far-reaching consequences and moreover, they were directly and substantially affected by it.
The banks had contended that the pleas for a recall of the judgment, instead of a review, is "maintainable" as there was a violation of the principles of natural justice in view of the fact that they were neither parties to the matter nor heard.
While dismissing the pleas, the apex court bench, however, had made it clear that it was not dealing with any of the submissions made by the banks on the correctness of the 2015 judgment.
(With PTI inputs)
(Edited by : Kanishka Sarkar)