Markets

Disclose details of Reliance Petroleum insider trading probe: SEBI told

PTI New Delhi | Updated on November 20, 2017 Published on November 08, 2012

ORDER ON RTI APPLICATION





The Central Information Commission has directed the Securities and Exchange Board of India to disclose names of entities that were allegedly involved in the insider trading of shares of Reliance Petroleum in 2007.

“If as a regulator, the SEBI took cognisance of allegations of any breach of law, rules or regulations by one or more entities for unlawful private gain, the information generated in the process of its investigation needs to be disclosed in the public domain,” Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra said in an order on the plea of RTI applicant Arun Agrawal.

The case relates to an application filed under the Right to Information Act by Agrawal who had sought to know from the SEBI names of individuals, partners, directors and major shareholders (in case of companies) involved in the short sale of shares of Reliance Petroleum in November 2007.

He had also sought the name of brokers allegedly involved in the short sales deal.

Mishra said such disclosure would keep the general public informed and educated about the risks they may confront in making the investments in the market.

“It would also prevent many entities from adopting shortcuts to make profit through unlawful means. The argument that at the end of the quasi-judicial proceedings, the charged entities may be found innocent cannot be an argument against disclosing the information,” Mishra said. In another application, Agrawal wanted copies of the investigation report or the details of the consent order proceedings undertaken by SEBI in connection with the case.

In both cases, information has been denied, citing exemption clauses of the RTI Act relating to information being part of quasi-judicial proceedings and that information is of commercial confidence.

He said that larger public interest warrants that such an information be disclosed.

Both the arguments cited by SEBI officials were overruled by Mishra who agreed with the submissions made by Agrawal.

Published on November 08, 2012
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