SEBI refuses to disclose NSE inspection reports under RTI

The Securities and Exchange Board of India has refused to disclose its inspection reports related to the functioning of the National Stock Exchange under the RTI Act since 2013, amid controversy over the market regulator’s damning report on alleged irregularities in the functioning of the former exchange bosses

SEBI denied the information, responding to RTI activist Subhash Agrawal that the information he requested relates to its internal workings and disclosure of which could hamper decision-making in its oversight and regulatory function.

Using the Right to Information Act (RTI), Mr Agrawal had requested from the SEBI copies of their full inspection reports in relation to the National Stock Exchange (NSE) from 2013 to date.

He said PTI via email: “The RTI filing mentioned that the Supreme Court of India considered the inspection reports prepared by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in relation to banks (private or public sector) under the RTI Act.”

“Since RBI is the regulator of banks, SEBI, as regulator of the NSE, is required under the provisions of the FTI Act to provide inspection reports to the NSE. I had also asked for a web link, if available, with such information and memorandums on the movement of this RTI filing,” Mr Agrawal said.

Pursuant to Section 8(1)(d) of the FTI Act, SEBI said the information sought includes business confidential information of other companies, the disclosure of which could adversely affect its competitive position.

“In view of the foregoing, the information requested is exempt under Section 8(1)(d) of the RTI Act 2005. However, information on enforcement actions taken by SEBI is publicly available on SEBI’s website: www.sebi.gov.in under the heading ‘Enforcement,'” it said.

SEBI on February 11 indicted former NSE chief executive officer (CEO) and managing director (MD) Chitra Ramkrishna and others over alleged governance failures in the appointment of Anand Subramanian as chief strategic advisor and his reappointment as group operating officer Advisor to the MD.

Ms Ramkrishna had told the regulator that an informal mysterious “yogi” was guiding her decision-making via emails.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which expanded its investigation into the co-location scam after the SEBI report surfaced, arrested both and told the court that the “yogi” was Mr. Subramanian, who presumed beneficiary was their decisions.

The agency, meanwhile, is focused on getting the email exchanges between Ms. Ramkrishna and [email protected]

Ms Ramkrishna, who succeeded former CEO Ravi Narain in 2013, had appointed Mr Subramanian as her advisor, who was later appointed Group Operating Officer (GOO) with a whopping paycheck of ₹4.21 crore annually.

Mr Subramanian’s controversial appointment and subsequent induction, alongside key decisions, was led by the unidentified person, who Ms Ramkrishna claimed was the “yogi” who lived in the Himalayas, according to an investigation into their email exchanges during the dated SEBI-ordered audit revealed.

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