New Delhi: The Supreme court on Wednesday asked the Reserve Bank of India to furnish a list of the companies which are in default of loans by the banks and financial institutions in access of Rs 500 crore or whose loans have been restructured under corporate debts restructuring scheme.
While asking the RBI to file an affidavit, the apex court bench headed by Chief Justice G.S. Thakur directed that the list be furnished to it in a sealed cover.
The court said this as one of the counsel told the court about commercial confidentiality of the companies.
The court order came in the course of the hearing of a public interest litigation pointing to loans given by HUDCO in 2003 to some of the companies with questionable track records.
The Supreme Court had in December held the RBI should take rigid action against those banks and financial institutions which have been indulging in "disreputable business practices" and said it cannot withhold information on defaulters and other issues covered under the RTI Act.
The apex court had then clarified that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cannot withhold information under the "guise" of confidence or trust with financial institutions and is accountable to provide information sought by general public.
"RBI and the Banks have sidestepped the general public's demand to give the requisite information on the pretext of 'Fiduciary relationship' and 'Economic Interest'. This attitude of the RBI will only attract more suspicion and disbelief in them. RBI as a regulatory authority should work to make the Banks accountable to their actions.
"Furthermore, the RTI Act under Section 2(f) clearly provides that the inspection reports, documents etc fall under the purview of 'Information' which is obtained by the public authority (RBI) from a private body," the bench had then said.
The apex court had also said that the RBI has a duty to uphold the interest of the public at large was duty bound to comply with the provisions of the RTI Act and disclose the information sought by the people.