RTI Judgement Series
RTI Judgement Series: You can get information about assets of a public servant

This CIC ruling could help to get citizens to monitor assets of public servants and also expose those who may not be making a truthful declaration of their assets. This is the second in a series of important judgements given by Shailesh Gandhi, former CIC that can be used in an RTI application

The public information officer (PIO) cannot deny information sought under the Right to Information (RTI) Act by claiming exemption under Section 8(1)(j) and is bound to provide information about assets of a public servant, ruled the Central Information Commission. This was one of the most important decisions given by Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner (CIC).


“...disclosure of information such as assets of a public servant, which is routinely collected by the public authority and routinely provided by the public servants, cannot be construed as an invasion on the privacy of an individual. There will only be a few exceptions to this rule which might relate to information which is obtained by a public authority while using extraordinary powers such as in the case of a raid or phone-tapping. Any other exceptions would have to be specifically justified,” the Commission said in its order issued on 23 July 2009.


Delhi-based Sat Prakash Tyagi sought information about assets and properties acquired by Anil Tyagi, a junior engineer (JE) with the Delhi Jal Board after his appointment. However, the PIO denied the specific information citing exemption under Section 8(1)(j).


The PIO stated that the information on the assets of JE Anil Tyagi demanded in queries (7 & 8) should not be disclosed since “the property returns submitted by the official are confidential documents and disclosure of this personal information has no relationship to the public activity or interest and hence denied under Section 8(1)(j).” 


The third party, Anil Tyagi stated, “My personal property details and other allied details should not be given to the appellant (Sat Prakash Tyagi), who is already having many property dispute cases in different courts in Delhi with me. Such documents will be misused against me in the courts affecting the fair decisions in the court. Moreover we and all my family members are facing acute mental agony and fear of life from the appellant. Such matters have already being informed to the police also.”


The Commission said the Supreme Court has clearly ruled that even people who aspire to be public servants by getting elected have to declare their property details. “If people who aspire to be public servants must declare their property details it is only logical that the details of assets of those who are public servants must be considered to be disclosable. Hence the exemption under Section 8(1) (j) cannot be applied in the instant case.”


While denying the PIO and the third party’s claim for exemption of the information, the CIC in its order on 23 July 2009, asked the PIO to provide information about assets and properties of Anil Tyagi to the applicant before 10 August 2009.




Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2009/001436/4247

(http://www.rti.india.gov.in/cic_decisions/SG-23072009-13.pdf )


Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2009/001436



Appellant                                            :Sat Prakash Tyagi,

                                                          S/o Bishamber Dayal Tyagi,

                                                          H.No.38, Tyagi Mohalla

                                                          Chhatter Pur,

                                                          New Delhi-110074.


Respondent                                        : Vipin Behari


                                                          Delhi Jal Board,

                                                          Govt. of N.C.T. of Delhi,

                                                          O/o the Secretary, Varunalaya Ph-II,

                                                          Karol Bagh, New Delhi-110005.


R*Shares CNX 100 Fund: Another first from Reliance MF, but would investors buy?

Reliance is looking to create a significant presence in the exchange traded fund (ETF) space as in just two months it has filed three draft offer documents for new ETF schemes. Would the new scheme be able to lure investors?

Reliance Mutual Fund plans to launch another open-ended exchange traded fund (ETF)—R*Shares CNX 100 Fund. Last month the fund house filed its draft offer document to launch two ETFs— R*Shares Consumption Fund and R*Shares Dividend Opportunity Fund (Read: R*Shares ETFs: Should you invest in R*Shares Consumption Fund and R*Shares Dividend Opportunity Fund?). These would be the first schemes based on the respective index in the ETF space. The new schemes of Reliance MF which have been recently filed will be the first ETFs to be based on the CNX 100 index. Reliance presently has only one equity ETF scheme in the market—R* Shares Banking ETF (based on the CNX Bank Nifty index). This scheme, launched in June 2008, has been able to accumulate a corpus of just Rs11.43 crore despite having a low expense ratio of just 0.35%.

Would the returns of the CNX 100 index be any different from other diversified indices? Our analysis of the BSE Sensex, S&P Nifty, and CNX 100 has shown the returns have been similar over the long-term. We took a five-year rolling period with a quarterly frequency over the last 20 quarters. The returns of all three indices delivered a compounded annualised of around 16%. Not surprising as the top part of the portfolio is constituted by the same set of heavy weight stocks such as ITC, Reliance Industries, Infosys, ICICI Bank, and HDFC. If we take a three-year rolling period the returns of the CNX 100 is slightly lower but the standard deviation is lower as well, signifying lower risk. Therefore, as the CNX 100 is a much more diversified in terms of number of stocks, the lower volatility would be beneficial to investors who would like to take a lower risk. But then again, there are lot of drawbacks in investing in ETFs pre se.

One of the biggest negatives is precisely that you have to buy them through an exchange—and, therefore, you are at the mercy of the market’s liquidity. Low trading volumes and settlement concerns are major factors leading to low liquidity. If the market is not as efficient as it should be, it may also take time to match an ETF seller with a buyer and/or the bid-ask spread will be wide. ETFs are structured in such a way that you could end up buying it at a premium to the portfolio’s value and selling it at a discount. Unless these ETFs are widely traded, liquidity will always be an issue.

The other ETFs of Reliance have done well in the past. Over the quarterly periods from June 2008 to September 2012 the R*Shares Banking ETF delivered an annualised return of 24.61% compared to its benchmark—CNX bank Nifty—which delivered an annualised return of 23.40%. It managed to beat the benchmark on eight of the 17 occasions. The Gold ETF delivered 20.26% compared to prices of gold which delivered a return of 21.86%, beating the benchmark on just six out of the 17 periods. Considering that ETFs are allowed to charge an expense ratio of up to 1.50%, both the schemes have done relatively well to their benchmarks.

To read more on mutual funds, click here.


3-year Rolling Return

5-year Rolling Return



Standard Deviation


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Weak upmove on BSE Sensex, Nifty may continue for a couple of days: Monday Closing Report

Watch for a close below the low of any previous day for a reversal in the present weak uptrend  


The market settled with marginal gains amid volatile trade as the political logjam in the Parliament renewed concerns about the fate of the reforms recently initiated by the government. On Friday we had mentioned that a strong close above 5,655 may bring more momentum to the uptrend. Today the benchmark almost reached this level but closed 19 points below at 5,636. We may now the see the weak upmove continuing for a day or two. However, a close below the low of any previous day may lead to a reversal in the present weak uptrend. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) saw a volume of 61.75 crore shares and an advance decline of 999:707.

The Indian market opened on a positive note on reports that the government has called for an all-party meeting to discuss the issue of allowing foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail. Meanwhile, the Asian pack was mixed in morning trade ahead of the European policymakers’ meeting to decide the bailout to Greece.
Back home, the Nifty opened 22 points higher at 5,649 and the Sensex started off at 18,574, a gain of 67 points over its previous close. Select buying in heavyweights in led the market higher in early trade, helping the benchmarks hit their intraday highs. At the highs, the Nifty touched 5,649 and the Sensex went up to 18,590.
However, profit booking soon saw the indices paring their gains in subsequent trade. The continuing logjam in the Parliament resulted in the market slipping to the day’s lows in noon trade. At this point, the Nifty fell to 5,623 and the Sensex went back to 18,509.
A high degree of volatility since the beginning of the day’s trading session saw the benchmarks moving in a narrow range. The negative opening of the key European indices caped the gains in the local market in post-noon trade.
The Nifty settled nine points higher at 5,636 and the Sensex finished trade at 18,537, up 30 points. 
The broader indices outperformed the Sensex as the BSE Mid-cap index climbed 1% and the BSE Small-cap index advanced 0.85%.
The top sectoral gainers were BSE TECk (up 1.35%); BSE IT (up 1.24%); BSE Consumer Durables (up 1.20%); BSE Metal (up 0.98%) and BSE Healthcare (up 0.71%). The losers were BSE PSU (down 0.54%); BSE Bankex, BSE Auto (down 0.30% each) and BSE Oil & Gas (down 0.24%).
Nineteen of the 30 stocks on the Sensex closed in the positive. The main gainers were Wipro (up 2.50%); Sterlite Industries (up 2.23%); Tata Steel (up 1.96%); Infosys (up 1.71%) and Bharti Airtel (up 1.62%). Mahindra & Mahindra (down 3.37%); Sun Pharma (down 1.72%); BHEL (down 1.40%); HDFC Bank (down 1.07%) and GAIL India (down 0.81%) were the main losers.
The top two A Group gainers on the BSE were—GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (up 20%) and AstraZeneca Pharma India (up 12.18%).
The top two A Group losers on the BSE were—Hindustan Copper (down 20%) and M&M (down 3.37%).
The top two B Group gainers on the BSE were—GEI Industrial Systems (up 19.96%) and BAG Films (up 19.90%).
The top two B Group losers on the BSE were—Soma Papers & Industries (down 19.95%) and Spanco (down 19.90%).
Out of the 50 stocks listed on the Nifty, 29 stocks settled in the positive. The major gainers were IDFC (up 2.38%); Wipro (up 2.36%); Bharti Airtel (up 1.75%); Tata Steel (up 1.70%) and Hindalco Industries (up 1.62%). The top losers on the index were M&M (down 3.41%); BPCL (down 1.90%); BHEL (down 1.74%); Sun Pharma (down 1.67%) and HDFC Bank (down 1.34%).
Markets across Asia were mixed ahead of the EU finance ministers’ meeting to decide on the second bailout to Greece. Markets in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and South Korea settled lower due to profit booking after recent gains.
The Jakarta Composite climbed 0.61%; the Nikkei 225gained 0.24%; the Straits Times advanced 0.51% and the Taiwan Weighted surged 1.11%. On the other hand, the Shanghai Composite declined 0.49%; the Hang Seng slipped 0.24%; the KLSE Composite dropped 0.40% and the Seoul Composite fell 0.15%.
At the time of writing, the key European indices were trading down between 0.18% and 0.72% and the US stock futures were trading in the red.
Back home, foreign institutional investors were net buyers of shares totalling Rs366.37 crore on Friday while domestic institutional investors were net sellers of equities amounting to Rs184.28 crore.
Lanco Infratech today said China Development Bank will arrange loans worth $2 billion (over Rs11,000 crore) for its two power projects—Anpara Phase II and Himawat—each having capacity of 1,320 MW generation capacity. The stock jumped 3.28% to close at Rs12.60 on the NSE.
Lupin Pharmaceuticals Inc, a subsidiary of Lupin has launched generic version of Tricor, an anti-cholesterol drug, in the US market after getting approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). Lupin’s fenofibrate tablets are the generic equivalent of Abbott’s Tricor tablets and are indicated for heart diseases including primary hypercholesterolemia, mixed dyslipidemia and severe hypertriglyceridemia. The stock gained 0.88% to close at Rs565.15 on the NSE.
Water and waste water management company, VA Tech Wabag, has received a Rs217 crore order from Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB). The project is funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The stock rose 1.46% to close at Rs526.50 on the NSE.


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