The country’s central banking institution seems headed for a head-on collision with the Supreme Court in the matter of falling in line with transparency norms. Things have come to such a pass that the Reserve Bank of India has been hauled up unequivocally for wilful disobedience of top court orders with regard to disclosing information about its annual inspection of banks report under the Right to Information Act. The Information Commissioner too had passed several strictures on this reluctance on the part of the bankers to adhere to transparency norms in the matter of loans.
The primacy of the RTI Act was upheld by the Supreme Court even in the Rafale review case. This makes the reluctance of RBI to accept the court ruling that Section 22 of the RTI Act overrides the RBI Act even harder to understand. RBI’s failure to disclose to citizens who the defaulters are and what action is being taken to recover huge loans advanced is tantamount to negating RTI, disrespecting the will of Parliament and the Supreme Court. It is the money of the people of India that goes down the drain in the NPAs of banks and in the failure of big businesses to live up to being steadfast in servicing loans. Is there not a moral duty to be fulfilled in this?