It was noted that the appellant sought reasons for default of brokers. On perusal of the query, it appears that the same is in the nature of seeking clarification/opinion from the respondent. It is understood that the respondent is not supposed to create information; or to interpret information; or to furnish clarification to the appellant under the ambit of the RTI Act. It was found that the said query cannot be construed as seeking ‘information’ as defined under section 2 (f) of the RTI Act.
In this context, reference is made 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), it was 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 said observations, the respondent did not have an obligation to provide such clarification/opinion under the RTI Act.
On consideration of queries 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Mr Baiwar did not find any reason to disbelieve the observation that the requested information is not available with SEBI as the same is not maintained by SEBI in normal course of regulation of securities market. In this context, it was noted that the Hon’ble CIC did not find any need to intervene in the matter of Mrigesh Manubhai Thakkar vs. Securities and Exchange Board of India (Order dated December 28, 2016) while observing that “10.…… the respondents can provide only that information which is existing and available with them and the RTI Act does not mandate it for the respondent authority to create information if it is not collected and collated in the normal course of their duties.
The Commission, therefore, does not find any need to intervene in the matter. The appeal is disposed of.” In view of these observations, it was found that the information sought by the appellant was not available with SEBI and therefore, the respondent cannot be obliged to provide such non– available information.
Upon a perusal of the query number 7, it was noted that the same is vague and not specific. Further, it is difficult to ascertain what exact information has been sought by the appellant. Mr Baiwar was inclined to agree with the observation of the respondent that the request for information made therein was vague and not specific and the same cannot be construed as seeking “information” as defined under section 2(f) of the RTI Act.