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BEFORE THE APPELLATE AUTHORITY

(Under the Right to Information Act, 2005)


SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE BOARD OF INDIA
Appeal No. 2585 of 2016
Dr. Terence Nazareth

Appellant

Vs.
CPIO, SEBI, Mumbai

Respondent

ORDER
1.

The appellant filed an application dated October 17, 2016, under the Right to Information
Act, 2005 (hereinafter referred to as RTI Act). The respondent vide letter dated October
25, 2016, responded to the appellant. The appellant has filed this appeal dated November
29, 2016, against the said response. I have carefully considered the application, the response
and the appeal and find that the matter can be decided based on the material available on
record.

2.

From the appeal, I note that the appellant is aggrieved by the respondents response to his
application.

3.1

In this appeal, the appellant while placing reliance on the judgment of the Delhi High Court
in W. P. (C) 803/2009, has reiterated the request for information contained in his application
and inter alia submitted: Please inform the (respondent) that exemptions under Sections 8(1)(g) and
8(1)(j) are not applicable in this particular case. The information requested is related to the Dealing Officer,
SEBI function and duties in the organization.

3.2

In his response, I note that the respondent informed the appellant that the complaint
handling mechanism at SEBI was a collective affair, in which officers of different levels
contribute. Hence, handling of complaint was internal to the functioning of SEBI and the
said information related to personal information, disclosure of which had no relationship to
any public activity or interest and which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy
of the individual(s). In view of the aforesaid, I note that the respondent invoked the
provisions of Sections 8(1)(g) and 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act to deny information to the appellant.

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3.3

As regards the non-disclosure of information relating to the name, etc. of SEBI official(s), I
find that a similar issue was settled by the Honble CIC in the matter of Shri V. Raj vs. Dr.
G. Narayana Raju (Decision dated August 22, 2007), wherein it ruled: ... a public servant contributing
to a decision is entitled to his anonymity. Similarly, in the matter of Shri Gurbax Singh vs. Shri Vijay
Kumar (Decision dated September 25, 2007), the Hon'ble CIC held: it is a well-founded
assumption that employees who contribute to a given decision should remain anonymous and at least in the
higher echelons of administration in the parliamentary set up, anonymity of civil servants sub serves the key
element of the system - the ministerial responsibility to the Legislature. In H. E. Rajashekarappa vs. State
Public Information Officer and Ors., the Honble High Court of Karnataka ruled: ... it cannot be
said that section 2(f) of the Act (the RTI Act) encompasses the personal information of the officials of the
public authority. The intention of the legislation is to provide right to information to a citizen pertaining to
public affairs of the public authority. I note that the aforementioned decisions have been
followed by the Appellate Authority of SEBI in many cases including Ajay M. Marathe vs.
CPIO, SEBI (Appeal No. 691 of 2009 Order dated November 18, 2009), for concluding that the
disclosure of information relating to the name, etc. of SEBI official(s), is exempted under
Sections 8(1)(g) and 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act.

3.4

Further, I note that the Honble CIC in the matter of Mohd. Majhar Imam vs. CPIO &
Superintendent of Post Offices, Department of Posts (Decision dated August 29, 2014), observed: It is
fairly obvious that the educational qualification certificates & other documents of an employee are in the
nature of personal information about a third party. The employee might have filed these documents before the
appointing authority for the purpose of seeking employment, but that is not reason enough for this information
to be brought in to the public domain to which anybody could have access. Further, in the matter of Mr.
Rajkumar vs. CPIO & Superintendent of Post Offices, Department of Posts (Decision dated January 20,
2015), the Honble CIC observed: Educational qualification and other certificates submitted by the
candidates in connection with their recruitment are in the nature of personal information about a third party.
The employees might have filed these documents before the appointing authority for the purpose of seeking
employment, but that is not reason enough for this information to be brought into the public domain to which
anybody could have access, unless the petitioner is able to establish that the information sought is for larger
public purpose. The CPIOs submission claiming exemption under Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act is in
order.

3.5

In view of the abovementioned observations, I find no deficiency in the respondents


response to the appellants application.

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4.

I, therefore, find that there is no need to interfere with the decision of the respondent. The
appeal is accordingly dismissed.

Place: Mumbai
Date: December 29, 2016

S. RAMAN
APPELLATE AUTHORITY
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE BOARD OF INDIA

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