SEBI fails to provide 17 year old information to RTI applicant
Two separate applications were filed with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, one seeking certified copies of documents related to a public issue of a listed company and the other seeking information on a rights issue made in 1995-96.
The replies from the SEBI stated that the demanded information could not be provided as they pertained to 17 year old records while under its weeding out policy, files pertaining to issue management that were completed and closed were required to be kept for only eight years.
After being denied information, the applicants filed the appeal with the First Appellate Authority (FAA) of SEBI contending that although the records, that are older than 8 years, are discarded, there must be records available within the organisation as it is answerable to the Parliament on all Public Issues irrespective of their age. However, the appellate authority held that there was no reason to disbelieve the contention of SEBI regarding the unavailability of files due to its weeding out policy and dismissed the appeals stating that SEBI cannot be obliged to provide the sought information. It is not known whether the SEBI had any record to show that the documents sought had been destroyed.