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“Appellant files appeal after approximately eight months after the last date permissible under the RTI Act.”: SEBI, Part 2.

The respondent, in response to the query number 1, informed the number of complaints received by SEBI against Anugrah Stock Broking Pvt Ltd., during the period from April 01, 2020 to September 15, 2020. With respect to query numbers 2 and 4, the respondent informed that SEBI will not be able to confirm/deny the existence or otherwise of any examination/ communication notes in the matter for which information has been sought by the appellant. The respondent also informed that the requested information is exempted under Section 8(1)(d) of the RTI Act.

However, it was informed that NSE is conducting forensic audit and based on the findings, if any, SEBI may take appropriate action as deemed fit. Further, any such proceedings for action is conducted confidentially because of their sensitive nature. It was also informed that pursuant to examination/ analysis, if any regulatory action is taken by SEBI, the same would be available in the public domain, on the SEBI website. With respect to query number 3, the respondent observed that the query is vague and not specific and accordingly, cannot be construed as seeking “information” as defined under section 2(f) of the RTI Act.

The appellant has filed the appeal on the ground that access to the requested information was refused. The appellant, in her appeal, reiterated the queries raised in her application.

On perusal of the query number 1 and it was found that the respondent has provided the information regarding number of complaints received by SEBI against Anugrah Stock & Broking Pvt Ltd. On perusal of the appeal, it was noted that the appellant has not made any specific submission against the response provided by the respondent. In this regard, it was noted that the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi in the matter of Ms Vandana Mittal v. CIC and Others [W. P. (C) 7244/2009] held that if no ground for interference in the impugned response is made out in the appeal, such appeal is liable to be rejected. In view of these observations, it was found that no interference was warranted at this stage.

It was noted in queries 2 and 4, that the appellant had sought record of all communication between Anugrah Stock & Broking Pvt Ltd and SEBI, NSE and BSE. The appellant also sought status of implementation of SEBI Circular dated July 01, 2020 with respect to the case of Anugrah Stock & Broking Pvt Ltd. On consideration, it was noted that a response neither confirming nor denying existence of examination/ communication notes, is justified where disclosure of existence of examination or otherwise would itself amount to disclosure of exempted information. It is understood that SEBI receives alerts and references from various sources and these may or may not result in further action by SEBI such as examination or investigation.

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