Should the remuneration paid to SEBI lawyers be disclosed under RTI?
The appellant filed two applications under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) seeking various details about the advocates engaged by the SEBI, in cases coming up before various law courts/tribunals. The Public Information Officer (PIO) provided most of the information and denied for the rest stating that the desired information was not maintained in the format sought and it would disproportionately divert the resources if they had to collect and collate the voluminous information.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the PIO submitted that the envelope containing the information was returned by the postal authorities as undelivered. The Commission agreed that the personal details about the advocates and lawyers, such as, their address and telephone number should not be disclosed, but the details related with the total remuneration paid to such advocates and lawyers during the said period can be given. The Commission further stated that if it was not possible to split the total remuneration paid on a periodic or case basis, then the total remuneration paid to the advocates and lawyers during the said period, lawyer/advocate wise should be given.
View of CIC
The Commission directed the PIO to provide the desired information to the appellant as available with the public authority. The Commission also held that the PIO cannot be held responsible for postages returned by the postal authorities.
Citation: Shri Rajeev Kumar Agarwal v. Securities and Exchange Board of India in File No. CIC/SM/A/2012/900998 & 900623
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1004
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission