RTI activist rues over SEBI's refusal to share information on MSEI forensic audit

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on November 25, 2021

Activist Anil Galgali says MSEI is a deemed public company with thousands of shareholders, and hence it requires more transparency and disclosures

RTI activist Anil Galgali has said that market regulator SEBI has refused to divulge information about the forensic audit conducted at Mumbai-based Metropolitan Stock Exchange (MSEI) because there was no public interest. SEBI had ordered a forensic audit into the workings of the MSEI, which was earlier known as MCX SX, on allegations of mismanagement and financial irregularities.

Galgai says that SEBI and the logic of the RTI appellate authority were not correct since MSEI had 46,000 shareholders and large PSU banks holding a stake in it. MSEI currently is fighting for its survival since its networth is fast depleting, and its claim of ₹856 crore against NSE has been stuck at the Supreme Court now for nearly a decade.

First appeal

Galgali says he had sought information from SEBI on July 27, 2021 concerning the Forensic Audit Report submitted by E & Y for the previous years, but SEBI declined the information. Subsequently, Anil Galgali filed a First Appeal o n September 24, 2021, which was also denied by the Appellate Authority vide letter dated October 26, 2021, citing the reasons that required information is exempt from disclosure under Sections 8(1)(e) and 8(1)(d) of the RTI Act 2005, as there is no larger public interest involved.

However, Galgali says MSEI has over 46,000 shareholders and is a deemed public company, and hence it requires more transparency and disclosures.

“This exchange has around 46,000 minority shareholders. That apart, PSU and private banks including SBI, BOI, Union, BOB, Canara, Indian, PNB, UCO, Overseas, HDFC, AXIS, Vijaya Bank and Institutions like IFCI, IL&FS, Bennett Coleman, ‘Trust Capital’, ‘Edelweiss’, MCX are also MSEI shareholders. Investments of these entities are at heightened risk of becoming NPA. So how is public interest not involved,” Galgali said in a statement he released.

“SEBI should make all Forensic Audit Report at MSEI and whistleblowers’ complaints with Action Taken Report in the public domain,” Galgali said.

Published on November 25, 2021

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