'No RTI on office inauguration function'
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In a strange RTI query, Sebi was asked for details of gate entry and exit records of persons and vehicles that visited its Mumbai head office around the time of its inauguration nearly six years ago, but the market regulator has declined to share most of the information.
The RTI applicant subsequently approached the Appellate Authority of Sebi (Securities and Exchange Board of India) for details sought through RTI (Right To Information) Act, but its appeal has been dismissed there also. As per an Appellate Authority order, passed last week and available on Sebi's website, the RTI applicant had sought "date, day and time of the inauguration of Sebi Bhavan at BKC (Bandra Kurla Complex) Mumbai and by whom the inauguration took place and time period or duration of the said inauguration programme from start to end."
In response to this query, Sebi only provided a copy of invitation card for the inauguration function.
The appellant contended that the card did not show that when the inauguration programme ended and therefore, he has not got any answer or information in respect of his question.
The Appellate Authority, however, ruled: "On perusal of response of respondent in totality I find that the respondent has furnished all the information that was available with Sebi and could not furnish what was not available.
"If the respondent could provide all the details that was available on the invitation card, there cannot be any other reason to withhold or deny information about the end time of the programme," the order said, while noting that Sebi cannot provide an information that was not available.
"I, therefore, find that the respondent has not erred in its response as contended by the appellant," the order said.
The RTI application had also sought the list of guests, including chief guest, for the inauguration and "also gate entry and exit register or records of person and vehicles visited at Sebi Bhavan during the whole of October 2006". Sebi, however, replied that "the details sought by the appellant were not available with the concerned department.."
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