National Stock Exchange is “public authority” therefore within the purview of RTI Act

This post was written by Neeraj Aarora on May 27, 2010
Posted Under: Shares Market

The National Stock Exchange of India Limited & Jaipur Stock Exchange filed an appeal in the Delhi High Court against the ruling of the Central Information Commission (CIC) dated 07/06/2007 which held that stock exchange being a quasi governmental body working under the statute and exercising statutory powers has to be held to be a “public authority” within the meaning of section 2(h) of the RTI Act, 2005. The said order directed the stock exchanges including the NSE to put in place a RTI regime in their respective organizations and appoint and notify the Central Public Information Officers and an officer senior to him to act as an appellate authority under the Act.

The Delhi High Court vide its judgment dt. 15th April, 2010 upheld the decision of the Central Information Commission which had declared stock exchange as a public authority. Dismissing the plea of NSE and Jaipur Stock Exchange which submitted that they cannot be forced to reveal information to the public under the RTI Act as they are autonomous bodies incorporated under the Companies Act and not controlled by the government, the Single Bench of Delhi High Court held that the NSE is a “Public Authoriy” as it is an ‘authority or institution of self-government‘constituted or established by notification or order issued by the appropriate Government. It also held that the NSE is controlled by the appropriate Government.

In view of the aforesaid judgment of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court, the stock exchanges are now within the purview of the RTI Act, 2005 and have to comply with the mandated obligations under the RTI Act.

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I am an ordinary client having lost more than Rs. 10 lacs due to illegal transactions conducted by the Member without any orders placed by the client and applied for Arbitration in NSE.

In the Arbitration process, the Applicant has submitted Form 2 providing his choice of 3 arbitrators (say X,Y & Z).The Respondent claims to have submitted Form 2 with his choice of 3 arbitrators (none of them match with any name of arbitrators selected by Applicant, say A, B & C), but NSE claims that they have not received it within the prescribed time frame and goes ahead and appoints the first preference of Applicant (i.e. X) as Sole Arbitrator (since it is clarified by Sole Arbitrator X during the Arbitration meeting that there is an amendment in NSE Regulations, as per which old Clause 5.6 (b)(ii) is not applicable). The Respondent attends the Arbitration meeting and challenges the appointment of Sole Arbitrator X quoting NSE Regulations Clause 5.6 (b)(ii). The Arbitration meeting was closed abruptly and no proceedings were conducted. After a week from the date the first arbitration meeting with Sole Arbitrator X was held , NSE accepts a fresh Form 2 from the Respondent in which he submits fresh list of 3 Arbitrators which now includes the name Y (i.e., second choice of Arbitrators selected by the Applicant). Based on revised form 2 of Respondent, NSE declares Y as Sole Arbitrator (being the common Arbitrator between Applicant and Respondent).

Having reposed his full faith in NSE’s working and unaware of the procedures laid down in NSE Regulations in appointing Sole Arbitrators the Applicant attends the meetings of Sole Arbitrator Y, where he finds the Sole Arbitrator is not dealing with Arbitration proceedings in an independent and impartial way giving raise to justifiable doubts on his conduct as a Sole Arbitrator. It is only by seeing the reply of NSE to the applicant’s Complaint to SEBI through SCORES portal, the Applicant came to know about NSE taking a revised Form 2 from the Respondent.

The Applicant has sought clarifications from NSE on the rationale/ procedure adopted by NSE in initially selecting X as Sole Arbitrator, reasons for cancelling his appointment, the need to take revised Form 2 from the Respondent and appointment of Y as Sole Arbitrator. The Applicant has also sought compensation for the amount he spent on travelling (he stays in Pune, where as the Arbitration meeting is held in Kurla, Mumbai) and the difficulties he faced as he is senior citizen having underwent multiple spinal surgeries always accompanied by an attendent) to attend the meeting with Sole Arbitrator X. But NSE is refusing to answer by maintaining silence.

I have lost the case in Arbitration and applied for Appeal.

I really do not know how to plead my case during Appeal, since I strongly feel officers of NSE, Sole Arbitrator and Member have formed an unholy alliance to see that I never win the case in the Appeal also.

In the absence of any reply from NSE for my various queries related to above matter, how to get the information. While SEBI is covered under RTI act, the exchanges are not covered so far.

I also have a few queries related to BSE also. If NSE and BSE are covered under RTI act, can some one forward the website address or postal address where I can send my query.

Can some one enlighten me on this matter?

Thanks.
GJ Chary

#32 
Written By G JAGADEESA CHARY on May 31st, 2013 @ 5:00 AM

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