New Delhi, February 8: RBI funding to an institution is adequate to make it accountable under the public transparency law, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has held.
CIC's observation came, as it rejected banking sector watchdog Banking Codes and Standards Board of India's contention that funding by the apex bank cannot bring it within the ambit of the Right to Information law.
Even though the 2005 RTI Act is categorical that a substantial financing by the ‘appropriate government’ would bring any institution under the law's ambit, the BCSBI said that RBI should not be considered in parity with the Government in regard to the transparency law.
BCSBI was set up in 2006 as an independent and autonomous body to ensure adherence to the banking codes and standards adopted by the banks in the country. RBI has undertaken total funding of BCSBI for the first five years of its operation.
Appearing before the Commission, BCSBI's CEO K V Subba Rao submitted that while the RTI Act would apply to bodies funded by Central or Union Territory or the State Government, RBI can not be treated as an "appropriate government."
"This argument is not acceptable to the Commission,"Information Commissioner Padma Balasubramanian said.
The CIC, however, gave BCSBI a month's time to forward additional submissions after Rao said that he wanted to put forth a report to justify his claim that the body was not a "public authority."
The matter was taken up with CIC by a Kerala-resident Raju Abraham after BCSBI denied him certain information pertaining to a private sector Catholic Syrian Bank.