Adani's Rs 20,000-cr FPO Subscriber Info Not Available: Sebi To RTI Query

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Sebi’s responses were submitted for two separate RTI applications filed by a certain Prasenjit Bose on January 31 and February 8

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The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has said that it does not have the information on those who subscribed to the Rs 20,000-crore follow-on public offering (FPO) of Adani Enterprises (AEL).

The market regulator said this in response to an application filed under Right to Information ACT (RTI), which sought investor-wise and amount-wise subscription details and the reason for the cancellation of the FPO. 

In January, the FPO was withdrawn despite managing to garner full subscription amid a crash in shares of AEL following allegations made by US-based Hindenburg Research.

Sebi’s responses were submitted for two separate RTI applications filed by a certain Prasenjit Bose on January 31 and February 8.

Bose had filed an appeal with the appellate authority on the ground that the access to the requested information was refused by the Chief Public Information Officer (CPIO).

“The respondent, in response to the aforesaid queries, informed that the information sought is not available with Sebi,” noted the Appellate Authority under the RTI Act.

Dismissing the appeal, the appellate authority noted, “…where the information sought is not a part of the record of a public authority, and where such information is not required to be maintained under any law or the rules or regulations of the public authority, the Act does not cast an obligation upon the public authority, to collect or collate such non-available information and then furnish it to an applicant.”

The other RTI application by the same individual was on investigation by Sebi on the revelations made by Hindenburg Research report. Its information sought included whether the regulator had received any complaint regarding stock price manipulation, round-tripping, accounting fraud and money laundering against the Adani group.

This too was denied on the basis that they were in the nature of seeking clarification or opinion and cannot be construed as “information”.

Sebi said that the information on exposure of public sector banks and financial institutions to the Adani group of companies is not maintained by the Sebi in the normal course of the regulations.

Under the radar
  • RTIs sought details on investors who had subscribed to the Rs 20,000-crore Adani FPO, reasons for withdrawal
  • According to appellate authority, Sebi stated in its response that information sought was not available
  • Queries also sought details on Sebi’s investigation on Hindenburg Research report, and complaints of money laundering
  • Both RTI appeals were dismissed by the appellate authority