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“the requested information is exempt under section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act…”: 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 Satyendra Kumar Pandit v CPIO, SEBI, Mumbai (Appeal No. 4375 of 2021) dealt with an issue in connection with Section 2 (f) of the Right to Information Act, 2005.

The appellant, Mr Satyendra Kumar Pandit had filed an application via RTI MIS Portal on the 31st of May, 2021 under the Right to Information Act, 2005, which SEBI received on the 3rd of June, 2021. The respondent responded to the application by a letter on the 1st of July, 2021, filed by the appellate. After receiving a letter from the respondent on 1st of July, 2021, on his application, the appellate decided to file an appeal on the 19th of July, 2021, which the Office of Appellate Authority received on July 23, 2021.

The appellant, vide his application dated July 04, 2021, sought scheme wise amount of Sahara India Group of Companies (except Sahara India Real Estate Corporation), deposited with SEBI till 31st March 2021 in query 3(1). The appellant vide query number 3(2), inter alia, sought full details of investors (including the refund amount, names of the investors) who got refund till March 31, 2021. The appellant also stated that the details may be provided in pdf/ excel format in CD/DVD/E-mail (through link). The appellant, vide said queries, inter alia, sought the following information for query 3(3). Provide information about the responsible officers of the concerned institution/ institution/ organization for social humiliation etc. and query 3(4). Effect on the country’s economy due to unemployment and hardships faced by investors during April 1, 020 to May 2021 when the repayment was stopped by SEBI.

The respondent, in response to the query number 3(1), informed that pursuant to various orders passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court and the attachment Orders dated February 13, 2013 passed by SEBI in the matter of Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Limited (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Limited (SHICL), an aggregate amount of Rs. 15,472.60 Crores has been realized by SEBI as on March 31, 2021. It was also informed that these amounts along with interest earned on them after providing for making refunds to the bondholders, have been deposited in ‘Nationalized Banks’ in terms of the judgment dated August 31, 2012 of the Hon’ble Supreme Court. Further, the respondent informed that as on March 31, 2021, the total amount deposited in ‘Nationalized Banks’ is around Rs. 23,190.87 Crores. The appellant, in his appeal, submitted that scheme wise information was not provided.

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