The Punjab National Bank (PNB) refused to provide information to an RTI query about Nirav Modi, the prime accused in the multi-crore PNB scam.
In an RTI, activist Anil Galgali sought information on the total amount of loan, the procedure applied for sanction of the loans, and the resolution in the Board of Directors of the bank in which the loan was approved.
In a response to the query, Deputy General Manager and Central Public Relation Officer, Joy Roy, informed Galgali that the case is deriving exemption from disclosure under Section 8 (1) (h) of the Right to Information Act.
Galgali had sought information from the bank about the total quantum of loan extended to Nirav Modi and the details of the Board of directors meetings such as its agenda, proposal, approvals and the minutes of the meeting in which the loan proposals were sanctioned.
According to the bank, Section 8 (1) (h) refuses the providing of information which impedes the process of investigation, apprehension or prosecution of offenders.
Galgali had filed the first appeal as per the procedures of RTI Act.
Galgali in his appeal said it is important to expose the officers who failed in their duty to safeguard the public money from being siphoned off, hence the details of the Board meeting of the PNB is important, the details like the agenda of the meeting, resolution adopted in the meeting for sanction and the minutes of the meeting will help to expose such officers.
It said the cooperating officers were equally responsible along with Nirav Modi in conducting the scam.
“Once such information is made public and the officers punished, the bank authorities will work with the responsibility to safeguard the public deposits and adopt proper measure while approving loan applications,” Galgali said.
The more than Rs 15,000 crore-scam has rattled the country and its economy, with the banks tightening their grip over sanctioning of loans and laws for prevention of such incidents in future.