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Thread: SEBI and FII data; question regarding what to post on this site relating to frustrating RTI experience.

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    SEBI and FII data; question regarding what to post on this site relating to frustrating RTI experience.


    Dear All:

    I am a newbie to this site, so am not sure what to post and share on this forum relating to my (so far frustrating) RTI experiences. In what follows I am giving some details about one experience, and can post more based on what feedback I get.

    I am an academic with a research interest in Indian financial markets, for which much of my data has come from the National Stock Exchange (which now makes available, at nominal cost, enormous detail relating to STALE DATA, to support academic research).

    SEBI currently makes publicly available aggregate FII data on a daily basis but only about the aggregate across all exchange-traded scrips. For many meaningful research questions it would be more useful to have a little more detail -- this data broken down by each exchange-traded scrip. So in one RTI request to SEBI I sought STALE FII DATA broken down by exchange-traded scrip. It was rejected on grounds that to me seem incredibly frivolous (e.g. "invasion of privacy", when we're only asking for the aggregate to be broken down by each exchange-listed scrip, and not by each FII, or each trade; "market-sensitive" when all we're asking for is STALE data like the kind that NSE provides).

    I filed an appeal, which has also been rejected. It turns out that the Appellate Officer at SEBI is basically a retired bank official enjoying a post-retirement sinecure, and he essentially just accepted whatever the SEBI CPIO said, and didn't even think it necessary to give us a chance to pose any questions. The 90-day period for the final appeal to CIC is coming soon (hence this post) and I was wondering if anyone had ideas or suggestions.

    I have PDF files of the original RTI request, the CPIO's response, my first appeal, and of the Appellate Officer's note. I wasn't sure it was appropriate to clog this site with all of that, as the details may be of interest only to a few. But the request itself is I think easy reading, and can give one some insight into elementary data requests are stonewalled, despite stock exchanges and regulators in many parts of the world now routinely giving even more detailed information than we have sought (and this includes the National Stock Exchange in India, which is under SEBI jurisdiction). The logic behind this in every case has been that academic research into financial markets is deemed to be in the public interest.

    Please let me know, on this forum, or via private email to [##### live email link deleted to prevent spam ######], if you would like to see the original request, response, appeal, etc, or if it is appropriate for me to post those, or if you have any other suggestion, idea or comment. Thank you. Best,

    Murgie Krishnan

    PS -- My other frustrating SEBI-related RTI experience has to do with trying to seek its help relating to Bombay Stock Exchange data. That effort is a little more complicated to describe, as it began long BEFORE the RTI Act, with a writ petition against BSE and SEBI in the Bombay High Court, which ruled in our favour in February 2005. But we haven't got one whit closer to getting the ruling implemented since then. Because of a very peculiar set of meetings and responses from BSE (some of which had implications relating to SEBI's regulation) I tried using the RTI Act to get at least some help from SEBI in the matter. At SEBI, this RTI request has also had the same dismal history.


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    Re: SEBI and FII data; question regarding what to post on this site relating to frustrating RTI experience.


    Per suggestion received on private email I am posting the PDF files representing (a) initial RTI request to SEBI for FII data (this had the benefit of a colleague's prior negative experience) (b) SEBI's brief ding (c) my appeal (d) the SEBI Appellate Officer's final ding, which among other thinsg puts words in our mouth that were never there.

    I have already benefited from this site in learning of at least one precedent in which the CIC has struck of the SEBI CPIO's mechanical application of language from exemptions listed in Sections 8 and 9 of the RTI Act. I am hoping that someone else may also be motivated to file a similar RTI request to SEBI. Thanks for your attention. Best,

    Murgie

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    Re: SEBI and FII data; question regarding what to post on this site relating to frustrating RTI experience.


    Dear Murgie,
    Welcome to this very informative site from which we all mutually benefit. Your posts are very interesting indeed. Why don't you think of posting all your experiences in this site's blog? Just a piece of suggestion.

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    Re: SEBI and FII data; question regarding what to post on this site relating to frustrating RTI experience.



    With this message I attach my final appeal to CIC on this matter of seeking FII data from SEBI. The 4 documents referred to in this appeal were posted in my second message in this thread.

    In case there is a Delhi-based academic in finance, economics, statistics or some allied field, who is reading this, and has some interest in research into Indian financial markets, and some RTI passion, I would appreciate
    hearing from such a person on private email. In part this is because I may need help if any final appeal hearing is scheduled at some inconvenient time.

    I am hoping that even if my RTI request gets denied, someone else may be able to file a fresh RTI request, learn what he or she can from my case and at some point get SEBI to feel that it is perhaps easier to part with data than to concoct an excuse for not giving the data.

    I will post my 2 other (ongoing) RTI experiences over the next few days. Best,

    Murgie

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    Re: SEBI and FII data; question regarding what to post on this site relating to frustrating RTI experience.


    Update -- Had earlier experessed concern over lack of acknowledgment by CIC of my appeal, in several weeks (http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/1993-w...peal-sent.html).

    Just today I've received email from CIC with acknowledgment and a Case Number (from DC Singh, Under Secy. & Asst. Registrar, Central Informatoin
    Commission, New Delhi.). More interestingly, the letter seems to suggest that some of the delay may have been because they were actually trying to be even more helpful, as can be seen from the section reproduced below as is:

    "We are exploring possibilities for holding hearing in the matter through
    teleconference / video conference through NIC and our Embassy in New York. One of the hurdles could be difference in local time there and in India.

    In case, as stated by you, your planning to visit India the hearing can be
    fixed here giving you a notice of at least 2 – 3 months.

    A confirmation in this regard would be appreciated."

    I wonder if net gurus, especially those who may have been to a final appeal hearing, can suggest some alternatives here. We are currently 10 1/2 hours behind here on the US east coast, and will be 9 1/2 hours behind come March 9, 2008. I am very willing to wake up extra early in the morning or stay up late at night, but presumably that makes participation from within the Indian Consulate in NYC hard. In my response I suggested that the CIC consider letting me participate from home, using something like SKYPE (which I have used with the videocam on occasion, though it requires the other end also use SKYPE), or via internet chat and telephone. I'm not sure of what problems (e.g. personal verification) need to be addressed for everything to be considered kosher.

    Given the CIC itself is searching for an appropriate method, a good suggestion may get some consideration. Thanks in advance. Best,

    Murgie

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    Re: SEBI and FII data; question regarding what to post on this site relating to frustrating RTI experience.


    Quote Originally Posted by murgie View Post

    I wonder if net gurus, especially those who may have been to a final appeal hearing, can suggest some alternatives here. We are currently 10 1/2 hours behind here on the US east coast, and will be 9 1/2 hours behind come March 9, 2008. I am very willing to wake up extra early in the morning or stay up late at night, but presumably that makes participation from within the Indian Consulate in NYC hard. In my response I suggested that the CIC consider letting me participate from home, using something like SKYPE (which I have used with the videocam on occasion, though it requires the other end also use SKYPE), or via internet chat and telephone. I'm not sure of what problems (e.g. personal verification) need to be addressed for everything to be considered kosher.

    Murgie
    I am not a netguru. Two suggestions:
    If you are provided a fixed IP address from your ISP provider, it is very easy to identify yourself based on the name on which the connection is registered. I really do not know whether that will hold much water with the CIC but no harm in explaining it to them.
    The other means of identification I can think of is your passport copy, if the photo therein matches your present appearance. But that again is a long shot.
    Last edited by karira; 29-11-07 at 10:34 PM.

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    Re: SEBI and FII data; question regarding what to post on this site relating to frustrating RTI experience.


    Thanks. But my ISP gives me only a dynamic IP.

    I thought that some kind of password-based method, or something asking me security questions based on some details from the documents submitted, might do.

    The real snag is I suspect that something like SKYPE (which allows video) requires all participants to be using SKYPE. And I know some institutions in India, for reasons I don't understand, explicitly prohibit their employees using products like SKYPE. Maybe NIC can find something acceptable to them, that will also be affordable for me. Best,

    Murgie

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    Re: SEBI and FII data; question regarding what to post on this site relating to frustrating RTI experience.


    murgie,

    In a recent case, the CIC tried to connect with the Appellant through Video Conferencing. When that did not happen, the CIC gave the chance to the appellant to attend through Audio Conferencing.
    Maybe you can approach the Secy. & Asst Registrar of CIC once again giving this citation and request for "audio conferencing".
    Don't bring up the issue of identification, since the CIC has never raised this issue in their communication with you !

    http://cic.gov.in/CIC-Orders/Decision_26112007_08.pdf

    On again being contacted on the telephone appellant Shri Karam Singh submitted that he had not received the notice of hearing, which was in fact our interim decision of 6.11.07. He was asked whether he would be willing to participate in audio conferencing through telephone, to which he agreed, but on his telephone being sought to be connected thereafter he failed to respond to each of the calls

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