#JKBank: Rs 31 Crore NPA counts: CIC sets 2nd call for final hearing this month – ‘Kashmir News Trust #KNT
‘Kashmir News Trust #KNT
In a major development regarding the infamous Rs 31 Crores NPA account of M/s Himgiri Infrastructure Development (P) Ltd. which had received a term loan from the Link Road branch of J&K Bank Ltd. for financing 3MW Hydel Project (SAL-II) at Sahoo Village (Chamba), Himachal Pradesh, Central Information Commission, New Delhi has set 2nd appeal for final hearing on 23rd September 2022 filed by Irtiza Mushtaq-a Jammu based lawyer who in Dec 2020 had filed a 2nd appeal in CIC, New Delhi against denial of information by PIO, J&K Bank Ltd., Zone Office, Jammu Central-1 on 29 Oct 2020 and later confirmed by the J&K Bank First Appellate Authority on November 23, 2020.
Lawyer Irtiza Mushtaq had filed a request by RTI on September 28, 2020 before the PIO, J&K Bank Ltd., in which he requested the current status of the accounts managed by the Link Road branch of J&K Bank Ltd. concerning the development of the infrastructure of M/s Himgiri. (P) Ltd. and whose promoters, directors, shareholders, guarantors and beneficiaries are Dr. Nirmal Singh (former Deputy CM, J&K), Kavinder Gupta (former Deputy CM, J&K), Jugal Kishore Sharma (Member of Parliament), Mrs. Mamta Singh (employee of the JU) without Dr. Nirmal Singh and others.
RTI’s Claimant/Lawyer, Irtiza Mushtaq, also requested information on any settlement reached between the Bank and M/s Himgiri Infrastructure Development (P) Ltd. In RTI’s request, the requester also requested information on the initiation of criminal proceedings, if any, by J&K Bank Ltd against the VVIP defaulters.
On October 29, 2020, the PIO, J&K Bank empties Ref. No. JKB/ZOJC1/BR/2020-21-195 refused to provide the information and the PIO in the order of dismissal pleaded that the requested information is exempt from disclosure under Article 8 (1) (d ) and 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act, 2005. The PIO further held that the information sought is a matter of commercial confidentiality, furthermore, an invasion of the privacy of the individual and therefore cannot not be shared. Subsequently, RTI Plaintiff filed the 1st Appeal before the J&K Bank First Appeal Authority which issued Order No. JKB/ZOJC1/2020-869 dated November 23, 2020 dismissed the 1st Appeal and affirmed the order issued by the PIO.
Against the denial of information, a second appeal was filed by Barrister Irtiza Mushtaq on December 12, 2020 before the Central Information Commission, New Delhi, in which the appellant reiterated his earlier grounds that the details NPA accounts cannot be withheld and are not exempt from disclosure under the RTI Act, as held by the Honorable Supreme Court of India in Catena of Judgments as well as by the CIC. The appellant cited several judgments of the CIC and the Supreme Court of India in support of his claims and the case will finally be heard on September 23, 2022 by a bench of the Central Information Commission, New Delhi . (KNT)