Can SEBI call for any records from the different Stock Exchange?
The appellant filed an application under RTI with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) seeking inspection of all the records of applications for in principle listing received by the Madras Stock Exchange from April 2008 to September 2010 and the files relating to the disposal thereof. He also demanded that the SEBI should access these records from the Madras Stock Exchange and provide to him in terms of the provisions of section 2 (f) of the RTI Act. The Public Information Officer (PIO) informed him that the desired information was not available with the SEBI. During the hearing, the appellant referred to the provisions of section 6 of the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act 1956 and submitted that the SEBI had the powers to get such information from the Madras Stock Exchange.
View of CIC
Referring to the provisions of section 6(3) of the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act 1956, the Central Information Commission (CIC) observed as per the section, the power vested in the SEBI to call for any information from a recognized stock exchange is based on its satisfaction that it is in the interest of the trade or in the public interest so to do. The Commission held that this does not give an unfettered power to the SEBI to call for information from any stock exchange on the request of a citizen under the RTI Act. The Commission further noted that section 6(1) makes it mandatory for every stock exchange to furnish regular returns to the SEBI and section 6(2) mandates that stock exchange shall maintain and preserve various kinds of records as prescribed by the Central Government and that the SEBI would have the power to inspect such records. Thus, only if the SEBI has prescribed the information to be furnished to it on regular basis by way of return from a recognized stock, then the SEBI would have such information and the PIO will be in a position to provide it. The Commission rejected the appeal stating the SEBI cannot summon such information from the Madras Stock Exchange just to provide to the appellant.
There are many cases where an application has been filed under the RTI Act to the head office of an organisation where the applicants demand the compilation of information which is not held by the head office. That work is not mandated under the RTI Act.
Citation: Shri P. Balachandar v. Securities and Exchange Board of India in File No.CIC/SM/A/2011/001076
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/351
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission