In a hearing held on August 28 that lasted well over two hours, a division bench of the Central Information Commission (CIC) consisting of Information Commissioners Neeraj Kumar Gupta and Suresh Chandra heard arguments on whether the NPCI is a public authority and if it should fall under the RTI Act. But after the hearing, the bench has not arrived at any decision yet. It's unclear if there will be an order on the case. Information Commissioner Suresh Chandra said there may be another hearing before a final judgment is passed. At the latest hearing held at the CIC in New Delhi, NPCI was represented by lawyer Sudip Mullick. The body's chief finance and legal officer Sanjay Saxena was present. The complainant Neeraj Sharma also attended the hearing, and he was represented by lawyer Nikhil Borwankar. Borwankar argued that the NPCI operates several services such as Aadhaar Enabled Payments Service (AePS), Bharat Bill Pay, RuPay, UPI, IMPS, BHIM, BHIM Aadhaar, which are all public functions. He also argued, among other things, that a majority of the NPCI's shares are held by public sector banks. In December 2016, Neeraj Sharma had filed an RTI with the NPCI asking for details of its PIO (Public Information Officer) and Appellate Authority under the RTI Act. After Sharma did not receive any reply, he filed a complaint with the CIC in April 2017. After multiple hearings, the CIC constituted a division bench in July 2019 to decide the case. It said that whether the…
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