File notings regarding the renewal of recognition of MCX was denied u/s 8(1)(a) & (d) stating that it was strategic in nature & contained confidential information - CIC: Exempt u/s 8(1)(h) as CBI investigation is going on & disclosure may impact the case
1. The appellant, Shri Ashok Kumar, submitted RTI application dated September 18, 2013 before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Securities & Exchange Board of India, Mumbai seeking information regarding details of publication of renewal of recognition issued by SEBI in the State of Maharashtra Gazette of MCX Stock Exchange Ltd., Mumbai for the year 2013-2014 u/s 4(3) For the purposes of sub-section (1), every information shall be disseminated widely and in such form and manner which is easily accessible to the public. of the Securities Contract (Regulation) Act, 1956 in a particular proforma etc. through a total of 3 points.
2. Vide letter dated October 10, 2013, the CPIO furnished information on point 1 & 2 with respect to publication of renewal of recognition of MCX and copy of gazette notification but denied information point 3 with respect to file notings of the renewal of recognition of MCX u/s 8(1)(a) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an offence; & (d) of the RTI Act, 2005 stating that it was strategic in nature and contained confidential information. Disclosure of the same would impact the strategic decision making of the regulator, the competitive position of the regulated entities of the securities market and compromise the economic interest of the country. Dissatisfied with the reply given by the CPIO, the appellant preferred an appeal dated November 7, 2013 to the first appellate authority (FAA) stating that earlier he had been given the file notings since 2008 to 2013 and he had been wrongly denied the information. Vide reply dated December 6, 2013, the FAA upheld the decision of the CPIO.
3. Dissatisfied with the public authority, the appellant preferred the present appeal before the Commission seeking information.
4. The matter was heard by the Commission. The appellant stated that he had sought minutes of meeting for Renewal of the recognition of MCX stock Exchange Ltd. held in the year 2013 but the same was not provided to him. He stated that the same information for the year 2008-2012 was furnished to him with reference to his earlier RTI applications. The respondents stated that the documents from 2008-2013 were in custody of CBI and the investigation was in process so information was denied. Further MCX initial recognition was given to MCX Stock Exchange Ltd. in 2008 and all the papers since inception were under the custody of CBI. Therefore for this reason too, it was not possible for them to provide the information sought. They stated that information as available had been provided to him.
5. The Commission holds that information cannot be parted as CBI investigation is going on any disclosure may impact the case. The matter therefore comes within the ambit of the exemptions provided under u/s 8(1)(h) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders; of the RTI Act, 2005. The appeal is disposed of.
Citation: Shri Ashok Kumar Jain v. Securities & Exchange Board of India in Appeal No. CIC/MP/A/2014/000659