Copies of file notings regarding the registration of M/s Infomerics Valuation & Rating Pvt Ltd as a Credit Rating Agency was sought from SEBI - CIC: Provide the information from the date of the Supreme Court order severing third party information
1. The appellant, vide RTI application dated 09.03.2015, sought information pertaining to copies of all file notings on the action/decision taken and progress made with regard to the registration of M/s Infomerics Valuation and Rating Pvt Ltd as a Credit Rating Agency from the order dated 19.2.2013 passed by Hon’ble Supreme Court in the matter of Securities & Exchange Board of India v. M/s Infomerics Valuation and Rating Pvt Ltd upto date of filling application and copy of information collected from different sources including Mauritius under FSA Mauritius Supervision about promoter i.e. Coment (Mauritius) Ltd. of applicant company or from any other sources about the promoter or any other correspondence collected or in file.
2. The CPIO vide letter dated 7.05.2015 denied the information by claiming exemption u/s 8(1)(d), 8(1)(e) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information; & 8(1)(f) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information received in confidence from foreign Government; of the RTI Act, 2005. Dissatisfied with the reply of the CPIO, the appellant filed an appeal on 22.05.2015 before the first appellate authority (FAA) while stating that information sought did not fall within the restrictions contained in the RTI Act, 2005. FAA vide order dated 25.06.2015 concurred with the CPIO’s reply. Thereafter the appellant filed the present appeal before the Commission vide letter dated 10.08.2015 with a request to direct the CPIO & FAA to provide the information sought and impose penalty on them for wrongly seeking the exemption of section 8 (1)(d), (e) & (f) of the RTI Act, while stating that no opportunity of being heard was given to him.
3. The matter was heard by the Commission. The appellant’s representatives stated that the appellant had asked for information from SEBI about their own company. In the last appeal filed with the CIC in 2012, they had got all the file notings as per CIC order 28.9.2012 but they had been refused the same now. They had won the case against SEBI in the Supreme Court and they wanted the file notings with respect to their company from 19.2.2013 to the date of their filing the RTI application. They stated that the SEBI had no reason to deny the information to them which had already been provided to them in the past. The respondents stated that the entity M/s Informerics Valuation and Rating Pvt Ltd has been already registered with them as credit rating agency. During the time taken for processing the application for registration, SEBI had collected a lot of information and made comparison with other entities. The file notings also contained the process through which they arrived at the policy to be adopted by SEBI. A lot of information that had been received by them in confidence from foreign governments was also available in the file notings. Any provision of this information to the appellant will result in giving out the inside thinking process and granular aspects of such matters which may place their internal matters in public domain. As far as the information given in 2012 was concerned, they had provided only disclosable information to the party concerned. Besides, during the two years’ period which was taken because of the complexity of the issues involved with reference to this entity, a lot of information has been collected and it would be difficult for them to sift the information which is related to the entity itself. He also stated that if the appellant has any grievance regarding delay, she may approach the appellate tribunal.
4. On hearing both the parties and going through the available record, the Commission directs the CPIO to provide notings relating to registration of M/s Infomerics Valuation and Rating Pvt Ltd from the date of the order dated 19.2.2013 passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court severing third party information, if any, within two weeks of the receipt of the order of the Commission. However, the Commission upholds the decision of the FAA in point no. 4.2. The appeal is disposed of.
Citation: Ms Pooja Malik v. Securities & Exchange Board of India in Appeal No . CIC/MP/A/2015/001709