Disclosure of SEBI notices for irregularities in obtaining Power of Attorney
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking information about the number of brokers whom the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had served with show cause notices for irregularities in connection with the Power of Attorney obtained from the clients. He had also wanted to have the file notings leading to the issue of a particular circular, which was later modified. The Public Information Officer (PIO) stated that SEBI had not issued exclusively any show cause notice to any broker on the Power of Attorney issue. He denied the rest of the information stating that it was held in confidence and in fiduciary capacity and that this information was exempt from disclosure under sections 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; and 8(1)(g) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information, the disclosure of which would endanger the life or physical safety of any person or identify the source of information or assistance given in confidence for law enforcement or security purposes; of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) noted that the SEBI does not have any information about the number of show- cause notices issued to brokers in connection with the Power of Attorney obtained from the clients in the manner in which it had been sought. The Commission further held that considering every single record and file noting as record of commercial confidence or as held in a fiduciary capacity is stretching the limits of exemptions provided in the RTI Act. The Commission directed the PIO to re-examine the relevant file(s) in which the above circular had been issued and to disclose the relevant file notings and other desired documents after deleting/severing those which are in the nature of commercial confidence or which fall in any other exemption category.
Citation: Ms. Santoshi Varma v. Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), in File No.CIC/SM/A/2011/901396
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/633
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