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“Respondent addressed the query by providing the information regarding the agenda and minutes of the Board Meeting…”: SEBI, Part 3.

The appellant, vide query number 5, sought the following information- “Share the criteria under which grandfathering provision was provided to existing RIA above 50 years of age.

The respondent, in response to the query, informed that the information sought by the appellant is available at para (ii) of the minutes of the SEBI Board Meeting dated February 17, 2020. The respondent also provided the link for accessing the said minutes. The appellant, in her appeal, submitted that irrelevant information was provided.

Similar observations were made by the Hon’ble CIC in the matter of Prem Prakash Prajapati vs. CPIO, Railways, RDSO (order dated January 07, 2020). In view of the said observations, the respondent did not have an obligation to provide such clarification/explanation under the RTI Act. Notwithstanding the same, it was noted that the respondent has guided the appellant to access the minutes of the relevant SEBI Board meeting dealing with the extant issue. Accordingly, it was found that no interference is warranted at this stage.

The appellant, vide query number 6, sought the following information- “Share all the documents related to the minutes of meeting in which the public comments related to Consultation Paper on the Review of Regulatory Framework for Investment Advisers on January 2020 were discussed.

In response to query number 6, the respondent observed that the query is vague and not specific and accordingly, the same cannot be construed as seeking “information”, as defined under section 2(f) of the RTI Act, 2005. However, the respondent provided the link for accessing the agenda and minutes of the Board Meeting dated February 17, 2020 wherein amendments to SEBI (Investment Advisers) Regulations, 2013 were discussed and approved by SEBI Board. The appellant, in her appeal, submitted that irrelevant information was provided.

It was noted that the Hon’ble CIC in Ms. Sarika Jain against National Hydroelectric Power Corporation Limited held that “As regards the first part i.e. copies of all documents in relation to the contracts mentioned in the RTI application, the Commission finds that the term “all” used by the Appellant here is very vague and does not pin point the particular document she wants to obtain from the Respondents. The Appellant is, therefore, advised to be more specific and identify the documents she wants to obtain from the Respondents ……..” In view of these observations, the respondent did not have an obligation to respond to such vague and non- specific query.

Notwithstanding the above, it was noted that the respondent has addressed the query by providing the information regarding the agenda and minutes of the Board Meeting dated February 17, 2020. Further, the respondent also provided the link for accessing the same. Accordingly, it was did not find any deficiency in the response.

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. The Appeal is accordingly disposed of.

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