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“The appellant, in his appeal, submitted that the date of uploading of the order on SEBI portal was not provided…”: SEBI, Part 2.

In this context, it was noted that the Hon’ble CIC in Shri Amiya Kanti Patnaik Vs. Central Excise Department (Order dated August 31, 2009), observed that “14. In my view, the holder of the information in cases where a set of information is held by more than one public authority and, only one of which holds it in original, only the public authority which holds the original of the information / document under a statute, rule, notification or instruction, etc., should be construed to hold that information within the meaning of Section 2(j) of the RTI Act. It is only this public authority which is in a position to decide whether a given information was liable to be disclosed because it is this public authority which is in know of the condition of the submission and retention of the information, the statutory or the other implications of such retention, the status of its confidentiality and the conditions in which either the whole, or a part of the information could be disclosed and whether – if that is the case – such an information is already in the public domain. These determinations could never be made by a public authority which came to receive this information in the form of photocopies – or even in original for a temporary period – for a specific purpose, which in this case is for audit.

Notwithstanding the above, it was noted that the respondent informed regarding SEBI’s practice of uploading important court orders on the website. It was also noted that the respondent provided the link for accessing the order uploaded on the SEBI website. It was found that the respondent has adequately addressed the query by guiding the appellant to access the relevant order passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. Accordingly, no deficiency was found in the response.

The appellant, vide query number 2, sought the copy of the speaking order, if any, passed by the competent authority at SEBI as per original order of Hon’ble High Court which was also upheld by the Hon’ble Supreme Court.

The respondent, in response to query number 2, provided the copy of the communication dated June 24, 2021. The appellant, in his appeal, submitted that a communication dated June 24, 2021 was provided instead of a speaking order. Further, the appellant submitted that the said communication does not have name and designation of the competent authority.

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.

Click here to read the entire order.

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