The appellate authority under the RTI (Right to Information) Act of the Securities and Exchange Board of India comprising of Mr. Anand Baiwar adjudicated in the matter of Shailendrakumar H Ughadmathe v CPIO, SEBI, Mumbai (Appeal No. 4284 of 2021) dealt with an issue in connection with Section 2 (f) of the Right to Information Act.
The appellant, Mr Shailendrakumar H Ughadmathe had filed an application via RTI MIS Portal on the 15th of May, 2021 under the Right to Information Act, 2005. The respondent responded to the application by a letter on the 27th of May, 2021, filed by the appellate. After receiving a letter from the respondent on 27th of May, 2021 on his application, the appellate decided to file an appeal on the 31st of May, 2021. In his application on the 15th of May, 2021, the appellate was seeking the following information:
“1. The appellant has been charged for same ISINs (listed below) in the month of January 2021 as outgoing charges. What is the reason behind i) BANDHAN BANK LIMITED EQ (ISIN: INE54……14) ii) TANLA SOLUTIONS LIMITED EQ NEW RE.1/(ISIN: INE48…….32)
- The appellant has complained to Kotak Securities (including compliance) 2 times but appellant got no response. If there is any penalty, they have to pay to customer due to their ignorance.
- If answer for above case is yes then provide the way in which appellant can charge them.
- The appellant has also complained to SEBIE (number: SEBIE/MH21/…….40/1), but they also closed the ticket even though the appellant has confirmed that issue is not resolved during telephonic conversation. Provide the escalation matrix in SEBIE.
- How can the appellant be ensured that such kind of mistake did not happen during rest of months.?”
The respondent to this replied by saying that taking action or resolution of grievance does not come under the provisions of RTI Act since query numbers 1,2,3,4 and 5, are of the nature of seeking clarification/grievance. Hence, it does not qualify under Section 2 (f) of the Right to Information Act, 2005 and was advised to file the application on the SCORES portal in case of dissatisfaction with the resolution provided of the complaint.
The appellate filed the appeal on the basis of him not being granted the information he was seeking. The appellate authority, Mr Anand Baiwar, made reference to the matter of Vineet Pandey vs. CPIO, United India Insurance Company Limited (Judgment dated January 21, 2021), wherein similar observations were made by the Hon’ble CIC. Further, in the matter of Shri Shantaram Walavalkar vs. CPIO, SEBI (Decision dated January 17, 2013), he noted that the Hon’ble CIC held: “… we would also like to observe that, under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the citizen has the responsibility to specify the exact information he wants; he is not supposed to seek any opinion or comments or clarifications or interpretations from the CPIO…”.
In view of the above-made observations, the Appeal was accordingly dismissed since the appellate authority found that there was no need to interfere with the decision of the respondent.