Should SEBI locate an untraceable company and make it accountable to its investors?
The appellant had a complaint against some company in which she had invested by way of shares and the company has not been responding to her as also to other such investors. The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) complaining against the said company and demanded that she should be compensated. The Public Information Officer (PIO) informed that her request did not qualify for any information within the meaning of section 2(f) “information” means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force; of the RTI Act. The PIO also informed her that the RTI application was being treated as an investor complaint and the matter was being taken up with the intermediary concerned. On the direction of the First Appellate Authority (FAA), the PIO informed the appellant that the report which the SEBI received from the intermediary concerned shows that the company in which the appellant invested was no longer traceable.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) observed that there is no information to be disclosed in the case. The CIC noted that it is surprising that a company duly registered with the relevant authorities vanishes with the deposits of the investors. There must be some way to deal with such situations and to bring the culprits to book. The CIC held that the SEBI and other such statutory bodies responsible for protecting investor interest would take appropriate steps and locate the company and make it accountable to its investors.
Citation: Mrs. T L Krishnakumari v. Securities and Exchange Board of India in File No. CIC/SM/A/2012/001482
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1175
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