Jammu, Apr 25 - In a landmark judgement, the State Information Commission (SIC) has declared the Jammu and Kashmir Bank as a public authority, holding it liable to provide information under the Right to Information Act, 2009.
An order in this regard was passed yesterday by the full bench of the Commission comprising Chief Information Commissioner G R Sufi and Information Commissioners Dr Sudesh Kumar and Nazir Ahmad.
"Thus having regard to the above discussion, the Commission declares the J&K Bank (Ltd) to be a 'Public Authority' as defined in Section 2 of the J&K RTI Act, 2009 fulfilling the conditions therein", the order said.
"The state has defacto control over the bank. With the government directions, it has started travelling to other areas of public services and is discharging all public functions like implementation of Common Services Centre (CSC) Scheme, which is an important part of National e-governance Programme (NEGP) of Government of India", the Commission noted.
The Commission said that State Legislature has established its authority over the bank through Committee on Public Enterprise and directed the bank authorities to appear before it and carry out the instructions and directions for ensuring speedy recovery of loans advanced by the Bank.
The Bank is considered to be one of first state banks and was "entrusted with the responsibilities" of implementing the CSC scheme of National e-governance Programme, apart from looking after "interest subvention" of Government of India also, the order said.
As per the order, the Bank was asked to designate First Appellate Authority, Public Information Officer, Assistant Public Information Officers and other officials required to provide information sought by state citizens under Section 5 of the RTI Act. PTI