A decision bench led by acting Chief Justice Madan B Lokur stayed the order of a single of bench issued on Apr 15, which said that the stock exchanges are "quasi" governmental bodies and are bound to disclose information to the public under the transparency law.
The order was passed by the court after the National Stock Exchange(NSE) filed an appeal arguing that it cannot be forced to disclose information under the Act since the company is not controlled by the government.
Contending that the stock exchanges are neither a government body nor does it get any financial assistance from the government, Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the NSE, argued that the single judge bench had made a mistake in bringing it within the RTI Act.
"I (NSE) am not financed by the government at all. There is no question of any substantial finance by the government. There is zero financial control of government over its functioning," Singhvi said.
The single judge bench of the High Court rejected the plea of the NSE and Jaipur Stock Exchange seeking relaxation from disclosing information under the ACT as they are not controlled by the gpvernment.
Ordering a public scrutiny of the stock exchanges' operations, Justice Sanjeev Khanna upheld the Central Information Commission's decision which declared the stock exchange as a public authority.
"A stock exchange being a quasi governmental body working under the statute and exercising statutory powers has to be held to be a public authority under the Act," the Commission had said while directing the NSE to put in place a mechanism for the purpose.