“Appellant Authority was of the opinion that the respondent has adequately addressed the query and no interference of this forum is warranted at this stage…”: SEBI, Part 1.

The appellate authority under the RTI (Right to Information) Act of the Securities and Exchange Board of India comprising of Mr. Amarjeet Singh adjudicated in the matter of Ajmal Ali v CPIO, SEBI, Mumbai (Appeal No. 4366 of 2021) dealt with an issue in connection with Section 2 (f) of the Right to Information Act, 2005.

The appellant, Mr Ajmal Ali had filed an application via RTI MIS Portal on the 14th of June, 2021 under the Right to Information Act, 2005. The respondent responded to the application by a letter on the 2nd of July, 2021, filed by the appellate. After receiving a letter from the respondent on 2nd of July, 2021, on his application, the appellate decided to file an appeal on the 12th of July, 2021.

The appellant was seeking the following the information:

  1. Whether any depository accounts of Albula Investment Fund, Cresta Fund and APMS Investment Fund frozen?
  2. If the depository accounts FPIs in question 1 are Frozen, which all depository accounts are frozen? what was the reason for freezing?
  3. If the depository accounts FPIs in question 1 are Frozen, are all equity and positional holdings held by them frozen?
  4. If the depository accounts FPIs in question 1 are Frozen, was there any kind of intimation made to the subjects FPIs or related person? How was the intimation given under SEBI Authority and guidelines? Has the FPIs responded to the intimation and how?
  5. If the depository accounts FPIs in question 1 are Frozen, when was the (date and time) depository accounts frozen.
  6. If the depository accounts FPIs in question 1 are not Frozen, has any actions been initiated against the subject FPIs.

The respondent in response to the application, informed that the queries are in the nature of seeking clarification/opinion and accordingly, cannot be construed as seeking “information”, as defined under section 2(f) of the RTI Act. However, the respondent informed that in the matter of GDR issuances by certain Indian listed companies, SEBI vide order dated June16, 2016 had, inter alia, issued directions to the depositories to freeze beneficiary accounts of certain entities. Accordingly, beneficiary accounts of Albula Investment Fund Ltd, Cresta Fund Ltd and APMS Investment Fund Ltd were frozen by the depositories.

The appellant has filed the appeal on the ground that access to the requested information was refused.

Appellate Authority perused the query number 1 and the response provided thereto. It is understood that post examination/investigation, whenever violations are established, appropriate enforcement actions are taken under provisions of the SEBI Act, 1992 and Regulations framed thereunder, which culminate in the issuance of orders and the same are available on the SEBI website.

Click here to read the entire order.

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