JALGAON JILLHA URBAN COOPERATIVE BANKS ASSOCIATION LTD. Vs. THE STATE OF MAHARASHTRA AND ORS.
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY (AT: AURANGABAD)
Jalgaon Jillha Urban Cooperative Banks Association Ltd.
THE STATE OF MAHARASHTRA AND ORS.
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T.V.NALAWADE, J. -
(1.) The petition is filed by the association of Jalgaon Zilla Urban Cooperative Banks, Credit Societies and other financial institutions registered under the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act 1960. It is the contention of the petitioner that in view of the provisions of section 2(h) and section 8 of the Right to Information Act 2005 (hereinafter referred to as "the Act"), cooperative institutions registered under the Cooperative Societies Act cannot be treated as public authority. It is also contention of the petitioner that in view of the provision of section 34A of the Banking 3 WP 1304 of 2008 Regulation Act, 1949 these institutions are not bound to disclose certain information which, according to them, is confidential in nature. It is also contention that these institutions are not receiving financial aid from the Government directly or indirectly and so the provisions of the Act cannot be made applicable to them.
(2.) It is the grievance of the petitioner that inspite of the aforesaid provisions, the authorities created under the Cooperative Societies Act are insisting the institutions to pass on information in respect of the conduct of business and other things of the societies to the members or even general public under the provisions of the Act.
(3.) The petition is filed under provisions of Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India and following reliefs are claimed :
(a) Call for record and proceedings of the case.
(b) Hold and declare that the urban cooperative banks, cooperative financial institutions, Patpedhis and other cooperative societies which are registered under the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act 1960, are not the public authorities within the meaning of Section 2(h) of the Right to Information Act and for that purpose issue necessary orders.
Or in the alternative and without prejudice to the above prayer
(b) Hold and declare that the urban cooperative bank, cooperative financial institution, Patpedhis and other cooperative societies, which are registered under the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act 1960 stand exempted from disclosure of information u/s 8(1) (d), (e) and (j) of the Right to Information Act and for that purpose issue necessary orders.
(c) Issue a writ, order or direction or any other oder in the nature of writ of mandamus thereby restraining the officers of the cooperative department and/or their subordinates from supplying any information to the members or general public, which is, according to the said societies is confidential in the commercial interests of the said societies and for that purpose issue necessary orders.
(d) Pending the hearing and final decision of this writ petition restrain the respondent and/or offices and subordinates from disclosing any information other than balance sheet and profit and loss accounts of the cooperative societies, urban banks and Patpedhis to the general public and/or members, under Right to Information Act and for that purpose issue necessary orders." ;
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