CIC directs Hockey India to disclose purpose of fund transfers to foreign accounts, other details

NEW DELHI: The Central Information Commission (CIC) has directed Hockey India to disclose the purpose behind funds transferred by it to foreign accounts and cash withdrawals from its accounts, after the information was withheld by the federation on the grounds of commercial confidence.
Activist Subhas Agrawal had filed a 20-point RTI application in October, 2019 seeking details about the functioning of Hockey India, including signatories and their designations on bank accounts, fund transfers made to foreign accounts and cash withdrawals made from its accounts and their purpose.
Hockey India refused information on these points on the grounds of it being exempted from disclosure under Section 8(1)(d)(commercial confidence clause) of the RTI Act.
Agrawal approached the CIC, the highest adjudicating body under the RTI Act, challenging Hockey India’s response.
He stated he had only sought the designation of the signatories and the name of the bank accounts and that the question of confidentiality was not applicable here.
Agrawal said that with regard to the information related to fund transfers to different countries, Hockey India should have disclosed the information in accordance with Section 8(2) of the RTI Act (larger public interest) because any amount that has been transferred to a different country is in larger public interest.
With regard to cash withdrawals from Hockey India bank accounts, Agrawal said that after demonetisation, most of the transactions have been digitised, yet, he has knowledge from reliable sources that cash withdrawals are being made by Hockey India.
“Hence, he wants to know the averred information and accordingly requested the commission to direct the respondent provide complete information…” Information Commissioner Amita Pandove said.
In her order, Pandove directed Hockey India to provide designations of the signatories on bank accounts only.
She also directed the federation to “only” provide purpose of fund transfer to bank accounts in foreign countries and cash withdrawals by Hockey India.


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