“Appellant Authority found that the respondent is not obliged to provide information where the query is vague and not specific.”: SEBI, Part 1.

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 Prerit Misra v CPIO, SEBI, Mumbai (Appeal No. 4370 of 2021) dealt with an issue in connection with Section 2 (f) of the Right to Information Act, 2005.

The appellant, Mr Prerit Misra had filed an application via RTI MIS Portal on the 19th of June, 2020 under the Right to Information Act, 2005. The respondent responded to the application by a letter on the 19th of July, 2021, filed by the appellate. After receiving a letter from the respondent on 19th of July, 2021, on his application, the appellate decided to file an appeal on the 20th of July, 2021.

The appellant, vide his application dated June 19, 2021, inter alia, sought all the ATRs to complaints filed by the appellant on SCORES regarding Varun Shipping Ltd (Inc.Varun Global/Resources) from December 2015 to date. The appellant also specifically sought the ATR with respect to complaint number SEBIE/MH20/00….68/1.

The respondent, in response to the application, informed that the query is vague and not specific and accordingly, the same cannot be construed as “information”, as defined under section 2(f) of the RTI Act. The respondent also observed that SEBI has responded multiple times (240 times on SCORES since November 03, 2015) to his grievances pertaining to Varun Global Ltd./Varun Resources Ltd. registered through SCORES platform and RTI applications.

The respondent also informed that Varun Resources Ltd. has been liquidated under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. Further, Varun Global Limited published a Public Announcement notice in newspapers Financial Express and Jansatta on June 11, 2018, pursuant to the grant of relaxation by SEBI vide letter dated October 31, 2017, from the applicability of the Rule 19(2)(b) of the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Rules, 1957. It was also mentioned that Varun Global Ltd. is yet to approach the Exchange for listing.

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