Appeal No. CIC/MP/A/2014/000456-BJ. Case: Arun Kumar Agrawal Vs The CPIO, SEBI. Central Information Commission

Case NumberAppeal No. CIC/MP/A/2014/000456-BJ
Party NameArun Kumar Agrawal Vs The CPIO, SEBI
JudgesBimal Julka, Information Commissioner
IssueIncome Tax Act, 1961 - Sections 131, 143(2), 148; Right To Information Act, 2005 - Sections 3, 4(1)(b), 4(2), 8, 8(1)(d), 8(1)(e), 8(1)(h); Securities And Exchange Board Of India Act, 1992 - Section 12A
Judgement DateMarch 10, 2017
CourtCentral Information Commission

Court Information Central Information Commission Cases
Judgment Date 10-Mar-2017
Party Details Arun Kumar Agrawal Vs The CPIO, SEBI
Case No Appeal No. CIC/MP/A/2014/000456-BJ
Judges Bimal Julka, Information Commissioner
Acts Income Tax Act, 1961 - Sections 131, 143(2), 148; Right To Information Act, 2005 - Sections 3, 4(1)(b), 4(2), 8, 8(1)(d), 8(1)(e), 8(1)(h); Securities And Exchange Board Of India Act, 1992 - Section 12A

Decision

Bimal Julka, Information Commissioner

FACTS:

1. The appellant vide his RTI application sought information on 06 points regarding the file noting, investigation report, show cause notice, reply(s) of Reliance Petroinvestments (RPIL) in the matter relating to charges under SEBI in respect of IPCL shares by Reliance Petroinvestments (RPIL) for the period from February to March, 2007, Mr. Manoj Modi and Ms. Smita Modi, consent applications filed by RPIL and Ms. Smita Modi along with file notings and issues related thereto.

2. The CPIO vide its letter dated 22.08.2013 provided a point wise response to the appellant. Dissatisfied by the reply of the CPIO, the appellant approached the FAA. The FAA vide its detailed order dated 23.10.2013 upheld the reply of the CPIO.

3. It was noted that IC (SB) vide its order dated 23.02.2017 transferred the matter to the registry of IC (BJ) on account of revised allocation of work amongst registries w.e.f., 10.01.2017.

HEARING:

Facts emerging during the hearing:

4. The following were present:

Appellant: Mr. Arun Kumar Agrawal (M: 9845097444) in person;

Respondent: Mr. Jeevan S., CPIO (M: 9819344904) and Mr. Naveen Kumar, AM (M: 9833109918) in person;

5. Both the parties were offered opportunity by the Commission to be present through videoconferencing at respective places but they voluntarily chose to present themselves personally.

6. The appellant reiterated the contents of his RTI application and stated that all records relating to the inquiry conducted by the respondent authority in matters of charges against Reliance Petroinvestments (RPIL), Mr. Manoj Modi and his wife Mrs. Smita Modi for insider trading under SEBI Regulations should be made available to him. He further explained that two orders were passed on said matter whereby Mr. Sunil Modi and his wife were acquitted from all the charges and in case of Reliance Petroinvestments, the matter was remanded back to SEBI for further inquiry. The CPIO vide its letter dated 22.08.2013 provided a response stating that the information sought by him on points 1, 2, 3, was vague and not specific. It was also informed that all orders and rulings of SEBI were available on the SEBI website indicated in the reply. As regards points 4 & 5, the information sought was vague and not specific in nature. Moreover, the FAA vide its detailed order dated 23.10.2013 provided reasons for non disclosure of information being exempt under Section 8(1)(d), 8(1)(e) and 8(1)(h) of the RTI Act, 2005. The respondent further submitted that the above mentioned matter was under investigation when the RTI application was filed by the appellant which was contested by the appellant. The appellant explained that the order of SAT was pronounced on 02.05.2013 and his RTI application was filed in the month of July, 2013, much after the pronouncement of SAT's adjudication order. The respondent provided clarifications on the definition of 'investigation proceedings' under the SEBI Act wherein investigation continues even at the time when the adjudication proceedings had been initiated before any judicial/quasi judicial body. The respondent further submitted that the investigation proceeding had reached finality in March, 2016 and therefore requested the Commission to remand the matter back to SEBI for dealing the RTI application afresh. However, the appellant demanded that his present RTI should be taken into consideration and no new account or change in events should make any difference in the disposal of his present matter by the respondent. He took strong objection to the respondent taking refuge under 8(1)(h) and sought justification from the respondent regarding invoking this section of the RTI Act, 2005 without any substantiated facts. The appellant further alleged...

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