The Central Information Commission has asked the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to place the list of top 100 industralists of the country, who have defaulted on loans from public sector banks, on its website.
The Commission also directed the banking regulator to place the information under section 4 of the RTI Act before December 31 and asked it to update it every year.
The RBI had objected to making this information public saying it is held by it in fiduciary capacity and disclosing it would adversely affect economic interest of the State.
Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi agreed that information is fiduciary in nature but said that such exemption does not stand when there is larger public interest in the disclosure.
"There can be no doubt that the information on defaulters received from banks are held by the Reserve Bank in a fiduciary capacity and are confidential in nature," Gandhi said, while deciding RTI application of P P Kapoor of Panipat, Haryana.
Kapoor had sought to know from the RBI the details of default in loans taken from public sector banks by various industrialists besides list of defaulters, top 100 defaulters, name of the businessman, address, firm name, principal amount, interest amount, date of default and date of availing loan.
During the hearing, Gandhi asked the RBI if the information about loan defaulters is held by it as part of statutory requirements. The Public Information Officer admitted that the Banks were providing the information in fulfilment of statutory requirements.