J&K Bank begins implementing RTI Act

In a first step towards the implementation of the Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Act-2009, Jammu and Kashmir Bank designated Public Information Officers and Appellate Authority to provide information to the information seekers.

The development has come days after the bank decided to implement the Act.

The bank has designated 812 officers as Assistant Public Information Officers (APIOs), who will receive and forward RTI applications/Appeals to the designated Public Information Officers (PIOs) and the Appellate Authorities.

The APIOs would not be authorised to provide information to RTI applicants or appellants.

Also, the bank has designated 11 officers as Public Information Officers who will be responsible for providing information to applicants.

Eleven other officers have been designated as Appellate Authorities under the Act. Any applicant who has not been supplied the requisite information or is not satisfied with the information furnished could file an appeal before the designated Appellate Authority.

The Governor administration last year decided to bring J&K Bank under the ambit of the RTI Act, like other PSUs. It said the bank should follow Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) guidelines and the state legislature.

The bank, however, refused to implement the Act.

In 2012, the State Information Commission had declared the bank as a ‘public authority’ under the RTI Act, entitling the people to seek information from it. The bank, however, got it stayed by the court. The stay is yet to be vacated.

But this year, after the government sacked the chairman of the J&K Bank and appointed an interim chairman, the board of directors of the bank decided to implement the J&K RTI Act-2009.

The bank has provided detailed information on its website about the designated officers who have been tasked with providing information to the applicants.