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Have received an open ended response from First Appeal, do I go for Second Appeal?


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alphaalpha

I have been seeking information from the State Bank of India, Local Branch through 4 RTI enquiries.  I had not received any response from them.  I filed First Appeal after the 30 days period.  I received the same response from the Appellate Authority that due to COVID as well as the fact that a number of people have been recently hired it will take a while for the Branch to respond back to me.  It has been over 65 days since this response, and no information has been forthcoming.  Should I appeal back to the First Appellate Authority, or do I prefer a Second Appeal?

Thank you very much for your help in this regard.   

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Prasad GLN

Make a polite reminder to FAA  that a time frame is fixed and the information should have been provided maximum within 2 months, and there is no exemption on time frame stated in RTI Act, pray for disposal of the application maximum within 15 days from receipt of this reminder.

What is the same response both from PIO and FAA ?

The FAA must deliver the orders within maximum 45 days from receipt of your appeal considering the exigency of such pandemic.

Do not be hasty to go for second appeal, as there is no one to hear second appeal for further two years in CIC.  Focus on information and search ways to get it through lower levels upto FAA.

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4 hours ago, Prasad GLN said:

 

What is the same response both from PIO and FAA ?

Thank you so very  much GLN Prasad sir for your timely response.  
By same response, I meant that for all 4 RTI queries I received the same response about COVID, and a number of people are recent hires and therefore it will take time.  The PIO had simply ignored all my RTI requests for over a month, prompting me to file with the FAA.  Thanks to your advice, I will not be in a rush to go to the Second Appeal.  

Even this waiting for these 65 days is due to the misleading information being fed us by the Bank legal officer, who had been periodically informing me to wait a little longer since he is gathering information.  Much of the information ought to be readily available in my file and does not need extensive research.  

Thanks to the RTI route I have thus far unearthed that the Bank has 'lost' my original loan application, copies of approval drawings, and inspection report.  It is evident that there has been massive fraud that had taken place which is otherwise near impossible to unearth solely through the Debt Recovery Tribunal and Appellate Tribunal.  Initially the PIO declined to entertain any RTI stating that these issues are sub-judice. Thanks to information gleaned from this very forum, I was able to make an appeal to the FAA with a copy of an order from CIC that sub-judice is not a valid reason, after which I was provided information.   

 

 

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Prasad GLN

The issue you have taken up is very interesting, and I do not think that there is a fraud in such information (Housing loan etc).  According to my knowledge, every document must have duplicate in master file, and atleast the copies are available at two places.  If you have no objection, post queries as  there may be several alternate remedies in case of fraud.  Have you gone through Ombudsman, CP Act process?

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On 10/26/2020 at 11:10 PM, Prasad GLN said:

The issue you have taken up is very interesting, and I do not think that there is a fraud in such information (Housing loan etc).  According to my knowledge, every document must have duplicate in master file, and atleast the copies are available at two places.  If you have no objection, post queries as  there may be several alternate remedies in case of fraud.  Have you gone through Ombudsman, CP Act process?

Apologize dear GLN Prasad sir for this delay in responding!  At the outset, thank you, for I took your advice, wrote to the FAA who then ordered that information be provided within 7 days!  And some of the RTI's have already started arriving!

The Ombudsman or the CP Act cannot be employed at this time, since the Bank had started SARFAESI action, had gone for an auction. We won in the DRT, and our SA has been allowed. The money of the bidder had been returned, but after 8 weeks the bidder moved DRAT and has gotten a stay with the Tribunal from giving effect to the DRT order.  It is an infructious since the DRT order has already been implemented and the money returned to the bidder!

From our experience, as well as what we have observed with a few other cases, the Tribunals function more like an extension of the Bank, than a neutral adjudicating agency!  They apparently report to the Finance Ministry rather than the Law Ministry.  

Thanks mostly to RTI and in no great part for discovery through DRT, we have learnt the following:

1. My formal completed application for my SME loan is not on file.  I did not know how to proceed.

2. My project report has been lost while being transferred from the Branch to the new office.

3. A hand in glove Borrower of the Bank had given a cheque as EMD drawn on a negative cash balance Cash-Credit account of the Bank which was not deposited until a day after the auction.

4. The same hand in glove Borrower of the Bank was allowed to pay the remaining 75% of the auction amount, well after the date due for payment, also by cheque drawn on their negative cash balance Cash-Credit account.

5. A Sale Certificate was given to the hand in glove Borrower of the Bank, without money being realized by the Bank (realized 2 days later), which too is a charge on the Bank.

It has been a miserable experience so far sir, and one where one does not know whom to trust!  RTI has come in useful, and even here it is like pulling teeth.  Routine 30th day rejection on flimsy ground, file FAA and then get information, and that too quite a few like the ones above - sub-judice, not available, lost etc, 

Thank you, and I will keep you posted as things develop!  

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