Based on the hearing of a petition filed by Arun Kumar Agarwal, a Bangalore-based lawyer, the Central Information Commission (CIC), the apex body under the RTI Act, 2005, has directed the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to make public names of entities which were allegedly involved in the insider trading of shares of Reliance Petroleum in 2007.
The apex body has also directed Sebi to share details of the investigation reports and proceedings on the consent application filed by Reliance Industries (RIL) in this case.
In an order on the plea of RTI applicant, Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra said, "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."
The decision came after Agrawal 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.
However, earlier Sebi had refused to share these details citing that investigations and quasijudicial proceedings were pending.
The Commission also said, "After carefully considering the facts of the case and the submissions made before us, we are inclined to agree to the demand of the appellant that the disclosure of this information would serve a larger public interest."
Meanwhile, Sebi has not commented on the development. The regulator may appeal in the high court against the CIC order.