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'Opaqueness antithetical to transparency': SC directs SEBI to allow RIL access to documents (Lead)
TIWN
'Opaqueness antithetical to transparency': SC directs SEBI to allow RIL access to documents (Lead)
PHOTO : TIWN

New Delhi, Aug 5 (TIWN) The Supreme Court on Friday observed that opaqueness is antithetical to transparency and institutions ought to adopt procedures that further the democratic principles of transparency and accountability as it directed the SEBI to allow Reliance Industries Ltd (NS:RELI) access to certain documents in a case connected with acquisition of company shares between 1994-2000.

The court also emphasised that initiating frivolous criminal actions against large corporations would give rise to adverse economic consequences for the country in the long run.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and comprising Justices J.K. Maheshwari and Hima Kohli said: "The approach of SEBI, in failing to disclose the documents, also raises concerns of transparency and fair trial. Opaqueness only propagates prejudice and partiality. Opaqueness is antithetical to transparency".

RIL had claimed the documents were required to exonerate it and its 107 promoters from criminal prosecution.

Chief Justice Ramana, who authored the judgment on behalf of the bench, said it is of utmost importance that in a country grounded in the rule of law, institutions ought to adopt procedures that further the democratic principles of transparency and accountability.

"Principles of fairness and transparency of adjudicatory proceedings are the cornerstone of the principles of open justice", he said.

The bench said the market regulator should show fairness and furnish documents sought by RIL, and the Security and Exchange Board of India has a duty to act fairly, while conducting proceedings or initiating any action against the parties.

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