Indian State Commission Pulls Bank Under RTI Law

27 April 2012

An Indian State Information Commission April 24 ruled that the Jammu and Kashmir Bank Limited is a public authority under the 2009 Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Act.

The bank was created by legislative act, is majority-owned by the government, has three government-appointed directors, and carries out instructions from the government, according to the SIC.

“The state has defacto control over the bank. With the government directions, it has started travelling to other areas of public services and is discharging all public functions like implementation of Common Services Centre (CSC) Scheme, which is an important part of National e-governance Programme (NEGP) of Government of India”, the Commission said.

“The J&K Bank Ltd. may not be a ‘State’ as defined under Article 12 of the Constitution of India, but the Commission is of the considered opinion that it fulfills all the limbs of Section 2 of the State RTI Act, 2009,” the SIC said.

The Commission told the J&K Bank to designate and train officials to handle RTI applications.

The Commission rejected requests to penalize the bank or compensate the applicants.

For more, see reports in Greater Kashmir and Outlook India.

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