Co-op Banks not covered by RTI Act, says RBI

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has clarified that the co-operative banks are not covered by the Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005.

In a press release issued by the Gujarat State Cooperative Bank, it said, “In the reply, Alpana Killawala, Chief General Manager, Reserve Bank of India, press relation division, Central office has made it clear that cooperative banks are not covered by the Right to Information Act.”

The Gujarat State Cooperative Bank Ltd as an apex institute of co-operative banks sought the opinion of Reserve Bank of India regarding the cooperative banks falling within the ambit of the RTI Act.

The cooperative banks are established under Co-operative Act of the respective states or Multi-state Cooperative Societies Act and not under any Parliamentary Statute. Therefore, they are not public authority as defined by the act.

The Sec.2 (h) of the act specifies the institutions as Public Authorities for which RTI Act is applicable. As per the section, the private sector and co-operative sector banks are not covered by the RTI Act and hence, they are not supposed to provide information under the said act.

The Registrar of Cooperative Societies (RCS), Gujarat State in his circular dated March 23, 2006, also specified that co-operative societies are not covered under the RTI Act.

Recently, chief information commissioner in his order in the case of Unjha Agriculture Produce Market Committee case under the RTI Act declared that the said circular of the RCS as void.

Therefore, the impression has been created that co-operative banks are now covered by the RTI Act.

(Courtesy: Business Standard)

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