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No public interest in disclosing details of political party donors: CIC | India News

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NEW DELHI: There is no public interest in disclosing details of political party donors, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has argued, rejecting a request to make the details public.
The Commission confirmed the State Bank of India’s arguments that the information requested by Pune-based RTI activist Vihar Durve was personal in nature and was held by him in a fiduciary capacity.
Durve had searched for details of the donor and grantee of the election bonds in the account books of the State Bank of India branches designated to sell these bonds, the sources said.
Following the denial of information by the SBI, Durve approached the commission where he argued that the SBI was supposed to defend the public interest and not the interest of political parties.
He said that the SBI did not have fiduciary capacity with any political party and, therefore, has no legal obligation to maximize the benefit of any bank in the public or private sector; there was no “trust” relationship between them.
Durve had asked that the information be disclosed for the sake of transparency and accountability.
The SBI, citing the Electoral Bond Scheme, 2018, said that information about bond buyers will remain confidential and will not be shared with any authority for any purpose.
Rejecting Durve’s arguments, Information Commissioner Suresh Chandra said: “There does not appear to be a greater public interest overriding the right to privacy of the donors and grantees in question.”
“The Commission sustains the Respondent’s (OSE) argument that the disclosure of the names of the electoral bond donors and grantees from the account books may be in contravention of the provisions contained in Section 8 (1) (e) ( fiduciary capacity) and (j) (personal information) of the RTI Act, “said Chandra.
Speaking to PTI, Durve stated that this was an “unreasonable order” from the CIC, as it does not mention the objections of the Election Commission, the Reserve Bank of India and the Ministry of Law. He said that it was the CIC that had brought six national parties under the RTI Law.

Times of India

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