CIC issues show-cause notice to RBI Governor Urjit Patel

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has issued a show-cause notice to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Urjit Patel for “dishonouring” a Supreme Court judgment on disclosure of the wilful defaulters’ list.

Moreover, the CIC has asked the Prime Minister’s Office, the Finance Ministry and the RBI to make public the letter of former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan on bad loans.

Irked over the denial of information on disclosure of names of wilful defaulters who have taken bank loans of Rs 50 crore and above by the RBI in spite of a Supreme Court order, the CIC has asked Patel to explain why a maximum penalty should not be imposed on him for “dishonouring” the court verdict, which had upheld a decision taken by then information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi.

Speaking at the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) on September 20, Patel had said that the guidelines on vigilance, issued by the CVC, were aimed at achieving greater transparency, promoting a culture of honesty and probity in public life and improving the overall vigilance administration in the organisations within its purview, the CIC pointed out.

“The Commission feels that there is a mismatch between what RBI Governor and Deputy Governor say and their website regarding their RTI policy, and great secrecy of vigilance reports and inspection reports is being maintained with impunity in spite of the Supreme Court confirming the orders of the CIC in the Jayantilal case”, Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said.

He concluded that it did not serve any purpose in punishing the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) for this defiance, because he acted under the instructions of the top authorities.