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“The appellant also alleged that the impugned order does not disclose the designation of the respondent…”: SEBI, Part 2.

It was noted that in the matter of Shri S. C. Sharma vs. CPIO, Securities and Exchange Board of India (Decision dated August 30, 2012), the Hon’ble CIC had held that: “Since the Appellant had not clearly stated what exact information he wanted, the CPIO could not have provided any specific information to him. We would like to advise the Appellant that he might like to specify the exact information he wants from the SEBI and prefer a fresh application before the CPIO”. In view of these observations, it was found that the respondent is not obliged to provide a response where the information sought is not clear and specific. Accordingly, no deficiency was found in the response by Mr Baiwar.

With respect to the query number A2 seeking “document to ‘Off market transfer the another Demat account’, It was found that the same is vague and not clear. Further, it is difficult to ascertain what exact information has been sought by the appellant. It was found that the respondent is not obliged to provide a response to such vague query.

With respect to the query seeking document to “Close the Demat account as we are incurring maintenance charges on the account” and “Re-materialise the shares and hold in physical form”, it was found that the respondent has guided the appellant to access the relevant information available on the websites of SEBI/ Depositories, which is available in public domain. In this context, it was noted that Hon’ble CIC in Shri K Lall vs. Shri M K Bagri (CIC/AT/A/2007/00112, order dated April 12, 2007) held that “… unless an information is exclusively held and controlled by a public authority, that information cannot be said to be an information accessible under the RTI Act. Inferentially it would mean that once a certain information is placed in the public domain accessible to the citizens either freely, or on payment of a pre-determined price, that information cannot be said to be ‘held’ or ‘under the control of’ the public authority and, thus would cease to be an information accessible under the RTI Act.” In view of these observations, it was found that the respondent cannot be obliged to provide a response to such request for information, as made by the appellant through his application.

Further, it was noted that the appellant, in his appeal, submitted that the designation of the respondent has not been indicated in the response. On perusal of the response, it was found that the same has been duly signed. It was also found that the relevant information regarding the respondent has been mentioned in the said response. Further, it is understood that the necessary disclosures regarding the name, designation and other particulars of the respondent, has been made on the SEBI website in compliance with Section 4(1)(b) of the RTI Act and the same is in public domain. Hence, no merit was found in the contention raised by the appellant.

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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