In a recent land mark development Nagpur bench of Bombay high court has ruled that urban cooperative banks, cooperative financial institutions, Patpedhis and other cooperative societies are bound to supply information under Right to information act ( RTI) . After supreme court’s order in Thalappalam Ser.Coop.Bank Ltd.vs State Of Kerala all the public authorities and PIO’s I were blatantly saying that RTI act was not applicable to co operative societies.Actulally even in Thalappalam case the apex in paragraph 52 of its judgment had categorically said that the PIO of Registrar of Cooperative Societies is duty bound to supply the information which his department can have access under the Cooperative Societies Act from a Society . But even then PIO’s and co operative societies were denying the information sought under RTI.
The Bombay high court in it judgement ha categorically said that “The provisions of the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act if read with the definition of information given in section 2(f) of the Act, it can be said that everything which is mentioned in the definition of information needs to be supplied by the cooperative institution to the authority created under the Cooperative Societies Act. The definition of 'Public Authority' given in section 2(h) shows that such public authority can be created by any law made by the State Legislature. It is already observed that the officers like Registrar and his subordinate officers are appointed under the Cooperative Societies Act and they have the control over the aforesaid things.”
The court also observed that cooperative institutions, are registered under the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act, 1960. They are bodies created by the statute. But right from the registration till the liquidation there is control over these institutions of the authority created under the same Act.
The petitioner the association of Jalgaon Zilla Urban Cooperative Banks, Credit Societies and other financial institutions registered under the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act 1960 had filed a petition requesting court to Hold and declare that the urban cooperative banks, cooperative financial institutions, Patpedhis and other cooperative societies which are registered under the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act 1960, are not the public authorities within the meaning of Section 2(h) of the Right to Information Act. Their contention was that in view of the provision of section 34A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 these institutions were not bound to disclose certain information which, according to them, was confidential in nature. It was also contented that those institutions were not receiving financial aid from the Government directly or indirectly and so the provisions of the Act cannot be made applicable to them
Petitioners had also requested High Court to restrain the officers of the cooperative department and their subordinates from supplying any information to the members or general public, which is, according to the said societies is confidential in the commercial interests of the said societies and for that purpose issue necessary orders.
The Bombay High court denying all the reliefs claimed by petitioners also referred to apex courts views in jayantilal mestry case in which the supreme court had said that RBI was supposed to uphold public interest and not the interest of individual banks. RBI is clearly not in any fiduciary relationship with any bank.
Forming Co Operative society now fundamental right Withstatus of local self Government, under ambit of RTI act
Subscribe for Free
To receive free emails or free RSS feeds, please, subscribe to Vijay Kumbhar's Exclusive News & Analysis
RTI KATTA is a platform to empower oneself through discussions amongst each other to solve their problems by using Right to Information act, Every Sunday at Chittaranjan Watika, Model Colony,Shivaji nagar, Pune, between 9.30 to 10.30 A.M.
RTI Resource Person, RTI Columnist
Phone – 9923299199
Email – email@example.com
Website – http://surajya.org/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/kvijay14
Twitter - https://twitter.com/Vijaykumbhar62
YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/user/kvijay14