RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT



RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT, 2005

1. Preamble

Right to Information Act enacted by Government of India has come into force from 12.10.2005 replacing the Freedom for Information Act to promote transparency and accountability in the working of any Public Authority.  The Act provides the right to citizens to secure access to information to general nature.

2. Public Information Officers

 As per the Act, Banks are also treated as “Public Authorities” and therefore, we are under an obligation to disclose certain information to the public.  For this purpose, each Bank has to nominate Public Information Officer at all levels to cater to the needs of the public who intend to avail this facility of obtaining information.

In our Bank General Manager who is nominated as the Central Public Information Officer / Appellate Authority at Head Office who shall also be the compliance officer for this purpose.  The Senior Manager(Inspecton) is nominated as Assistant Public Information officer of the Bank.

Public Information Officer

Shri N Venugopal Murugadoss

General Manager
Pallavan Grama Bank
Head Office
No 6, Yercaud Road
Hasthampatty
Salem 636 007

Appellate Authority

Shri S Suresh Kumar

Chairman
Pallavan Grama Bank
Head Office
No 6, Yercaud Road
Hasthampatty
Salem 636 007

Assistant Public Information Officer

Shri V Sivakumar

Senior Manager (Inspection)
Pallavan Grama Bank
Head Office
No 6, Yercaud Road
Hasthampatty
Salem 636 007

3. Information that may be disclosed under Act

Section 4 (1) of the Act lists out the items that should be disclosed to the public against their request.  It contains 17 broad queries.  The reply that may be made available to the citizen against each query (by an Assistant Public Information Officer) is tabulated and given in Annexure I. 

4.  Information exempted from disclosure

Under Section 8 and 9 of the Act, certain categories of information are exempted from disclosure to the public.  If any request for disclosure of information under this category is received, the applicant may be advised to refer the relative sections of the Act.  The extract of these sections is enclosed as Annexure II.

5.  Handling of requests seeking information

Any citizen can request for information by making an application in writing or through electronic means as per the format (Annexure III).  The format is only suggestive and it is not compulsory that the applicant should use only this format. As our branches are not having e-mail facility, the citizens may be directed to submit their applications to our Head Office through branches.

Under Sec.6 (2) of the Act, an applicant making request for information shall not be required to give any reason for requesting the information or any other personal details except those that may be necessary for contacting him.  The format is designed keeping in view of the above section.

Before accepting a request from the public, the Branch Managers should ensure that the information sought does not fall under the exempted category.  The applications received at branches should be entered in a separate register meant for this purpose.  The register should contain details like the date of receipt, name of applicant, letter/application date, subject on which the information is sought, Contact Address and Telephone number/e-mail ID, etc.  the application should be forwarded to the Head Office, with the remarks (if any) of the Branch Manager.

The information shall be made available within 30 days from the date of receipt of the request.  While a fee can be levied for furnishing of information, the same is being evaluated and shall be separately advised, if a decision is taken to levy such fee.

Before furnishing any information on sensitive areas and queries of specific nature, Branch Managers should refer to Head Office along with their comments/remarks.  It should be ensured that there is no complaint from any public in this regard.

Wherever a Public Information Officer considers that the information sought from him is fit to be referred to the Legal Department of the Bank before disclosure to a citizen, he may do the same.  However, an ultimate reply should be given to the applicant within the prescribed time of 30 days, whether the matter is referred to Legal Department or not.

Secrecy of Customers’ Accounts

The Right to Information Act does not in any way contravene the guidelines prescribed through various circulars regarding instructions on Deposits.  As such the branches should ensure the secrecy of the accounts of the customers dealing with the Bank/branch.

ANNEXURE I

INFORMATION THAT MAY BE DISCLOSED UNDER Sec. 4 (1) of the Act.

1.

The particulars of its organization,

functions and duties

The Bank has a two tier Organizational set up comprising its Head Office at Salem and 82 branches covering Northern districts of Tamil Nadu.  The activities of the Bank are covered by the Banking Regulation Act and the directives of RBI issued from time to time.

2.

The powers and duties of its officers and employees

The powers and duties of the officers and employees of the Bank are determined by the Officers’ Service Regulations and Bi-partite settlements duly approved by the Board of the Bank.

3.

The procedure followed in the decision making process, including channels of supervision and accountability

The Administrative and Credit Powers of officers at various levels and of different scales to be exercised in the process of decision making and the procedural guidelines on the channels of supervision and accountability are decided by the Board and kept as a confidential document.  Whether to sanction a loan or not is the discretion of the sanctioning authority concerned after taking into account the facts and circumstances of each case.

4.

The norms set by it for the discharge of its functions;

The norms for discharge of the functions of the Bank are based on RBI directives with Board’s approval.

5.

The rules, regulations, instructions, Manuals and records, held by it or under its control or used by its employees for discharging its functions;

All branches and offices of the Bank are provided with the copies of Manuals of Instructions and circulars for discharging their functions effectively.

6.

A statement of the categories of documents that are held by it or under its control;

Based on the Central and State Laws, Head Office prescribes the list of documents to be held / maintained by the branches / offices of the Bank.

7.

The particulars of any arrangement that exists for consultation with, or representation by, the members of the public in relation to the formulation of its policy or implementation thereof;

There is no arrangement for consultation with the members of public in formulating any of the policies of the Bank. 

8.

A Statement of the boards, councils, committees and other bodies consisting of two or more persons constituted as its part or for the purpose of its advice and as to whether meetings of those boards, councils, committees and other bodies are open to the public, or the minutes of such meetings are accessible for public;

The meetings of the Board and Committees are not open to the public.  As also the minutes of such meetings are not accessible to the public.

9.

A directory of its Officers and employees;

The directory comprising the details of General Manager and Senior Manager(Inspn.) is displayed on all branches.  With regard to other employees and officers, the details are available at Head Office.

10.

The monthly remuneration received by each of its officers and employees, including the system of compensation as provided in its regulations;

The salary of officers is fixed as per the Service Regulations of the Bank and that of the employees based on the Bi-partite settlement.

11.

The budget allocated to each of its agencies, indicating the particulars of all plans, proposed expenditures and reports on disbursement made;

Not applicable to our Bank.

12.

The manner of execution of subsidy programmes, including the amounts allocated and the details of beneficiaries of such programmes.

 

Not applicable to our Bank.

13.

Particulars of recipients of concessions, permits or authorizations granted by it;

There are no recipients of concessions, permits or authorizations granted by us.

14.

Details in respect of the information, available to or held by it, reduced in an electronic form;

The accounts of the Bank are maintained in the electronic media .

15.

The particulars of facilities available to citizens for obtaining information, including the working hours of a library or reading room, if maintained for public use;

The working hours are displayed in the premises of the respective branches for the information of the customers and the banking public.  The details of the schemes of deposits, loans etc. are made available to the citizens through pamphlets / handouts, posters.

16.

The names, designations and other particulars of the Public Information Officers;

The General Manager at Head Office shall be the Central Public Information Officer and the Senior Manager(Inspn.) shall act as the Assistant Public Information Officers of the Bank. 

17.

Such Other information as may be prescribed; and thereafter update these publications every year.

The information shall be updated periodically.

 

ANNEXURE II

1. Exemption from disclosure of Information (Sec.8 of the Act)

Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen:

a.  information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an offence:

b.  information which has been expressly forbidden to be published by any court of law or tribunal or the disclosure of which may constitute contempt of court;

c.  information, the disclosure of which would cause a breach of privilege of Parliament or the State Legislature;

d.  information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information;

e.  information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information.

f.  information received in confidence from foreign government;

g.  information, the disclosure of which would endanger the life or physical safety of any person or identify the source of information or assistance given in confidence for law enforcement or security purposes;

h.  information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders;

i.  cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers;

provided that the decisions of Council of Ministers, the reasons thereof, and the material on the basis of which the decisions were taken shall be made public after the decision has been taken, and the matter is complete, or over;

Provided further that those matters which come under the exemptions specified in this section shall not be disclosed;

j.  information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual unless the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information;

Provided that the information, which cannot be denied to the Parliament or a State Legislature, shall not be denied to any person

2.  Notwithstanding anything in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 (19 of 1923) nor any of the exemptions permissible in accordance with sub-section (1), a public authority may allow access to information, if public interest in disclosure outweighs the harm to the protected interests

3.  Subject to the provisions of clauses (a), (c) and (I) of sub-section (I), any information relating to any occurrence, event or matter which has taken place, occurred or happened twenty years before the date on which any request is made under section 6 shall be provided to any person making a request under that section;

Provided that where any question arises as to the date from which the said period of twenty years has to be computed, the decision of the Central Government shall be final, subject to the usual appeals provided for in this Act.

2.  Grounds for rejection to access in certain cases (Section 9 of the Act)

Without prejudice to the provisions of section 8, a Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer*, as the case may be, may reject a request for information where such a request for providing access would involve an infringement of copyright subsisting in a person other than the State.

* In our Bank, we keep the nomenclature as “Asst. Public Information Officer” instead of ‘State Public Information Officer’

ANNEXURE III

Application for obtaining information under the Right to Information Act, 2005.

1.  Name of the Applicant                                      :

2. Constitution                                                               :

3.  Address of the applicant                    :

4.  Contact Telephone:                                              Mobile:                                  e-mail ID:

5.  If the applicant is an individual, whether

     he/she is a citizen of India                  :

6.  Mention the sub-section of Sec.4 (1)

of the Act under which the

information is sought                                       :

     (Note: Separate application form should be submitted for each query)

7.  Whether the prescribed fee is paid?

      If yes, furnish details of payment with proof:

 

Declaration of the Applicant

I hereby declare that the information sought by me does not fall under any of the restrictive clauses prescribed under Sec.8 of the Act.

 

Date:                                                                                                          Signature of the Applicant                                              

 

Note:  The details of the applicant as required above is enable the Bank to accede to his request as warranted by the Act and therefore, there should not be any omission in furnishing the same.  All communication shall be sent only to the address/e-mail ID provided in this application.