Urjit Patel, governor of the Reserve Bank of India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

CIC Issues Show-Cause Notice To RBI Governor Urjit Patel For Non-Disclosure Of Wilful Defaulters’ List

The Central Information Commission has issued a show-cause notice to Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel for "dishonouring" a Supreme Court judgment on disclosure of wilful defaulters' list.

The CIC has also asked the Prime Minister's Office, the Finance Ministry, and the RBI to make public, former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan’s letter on bad loans.

Irked over the denial of information on the disclosure of the 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 not be imposed on him for "dishonouring" the verdict, which had upheld a decision taken by the then Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi, calling for disclosure of names of wilful defaulters.

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Patel, speaking on Sept. 20 at the Central Vigilance Commission, had said 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," Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said. "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," he added.

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

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