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 Mukesh Kumar v CPIO, SEBI, Mumbai (Appeal No. 4293 of 2021 and Appeal No. 4294 of 2021) dealt with an issue in connection with Section 2 (f) of the Right to Information Act.
The appellant, Mr Mukesh Kumar had filed two applications via RTI MIS Portal on the 22nd of May, 2021 under the Right to Information Act, 2005. The respondent responded to the application by two letters on the 1st and 2nd of June, 2021, filed by the appellate. After receiving two letters from the respondent on the 1st and 2nd of June, 2021 on his application, the appellate decided to file two appeals on the 6th of June, 2021 (Appeal Nos. SEBIH/A/E/21/00201 and SEBIH/A/E/21/00202). In his application on the 22nd of May, 2021, the appellate was seeking the following information:
“Currently the Karvy related demat account is freezed by CDSL. Request you to please provide me the information when these shares will be transferred in my other demat account which is with Zerodha Brokings Ltd. Freezed Karvy account – 130……75 shares needs to be transferred to Zerodha demat account – 120……..2.”
In his second application dated 22nd of May, 2021, he was seeking the following information:
“Requesting National Stock Exchange(NSE), to please provide me the information when you will provide the complete claim amount against the complaint ref. No.: NSELUC/0007…/20-21/ISC. This is around the settlement of claims against the shares available in the pool account of Kavry Stock Brokings Ltd with BO Id – 13014….5.”
The respondent to this replied by saying that taking action or resolution of grievance does not come under the provisions of RTI Act since the queries are of the nature of seeking clarification/grievance. Hence, it does not qualify under Section 2 (f) of the Right to Information Act, 2005.
The appellate filed the appeal on the basis of him not being granted the information he was seeking and had requested that CDSL may be ordered to transfer his shares of Karvy into his active Zerodha Account. The appellant also requested that NSE may be ordered to transfer his remaining claim amount. The appellate authority, Mr Anand Baiwar, made reference to the matter of Shri Shantaram Walavalkar vs. CPIO, SEBI (Decision dated January 17, 2013), 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 same the appellate authority found no deficiency in the response and found that the respondent did not have an obligation to provide such clarification or opinion under the RTI Act, 2005.
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.