AHMEDABAD: An application under Right to Information (RTI) has revealed that there are 44 consumer cases pending against a private telecom company in various consumer forums in the state.
And the financial implication of all these cases is estimated to be Rs 41.8 lakh. One Piyush Luktuke had, under RTI sought to know from the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) list of cases pending in the consumer courts of Gujarat against the telecom company. This along with the names of the parties and the amount claimed by them.
Luktuke wanted this information made by the lead managers to the issue in the form of the due diligence certificate and filed with SEBI in 2007.
SEBI's central public information officer (CPIO) replied that no such information was available with them other that those disclosed in the prospectus of the telecom company. This in pursuance of the SEBI's disclosure and investor protection (DIP) guidelines.
After explaining to Luktuke the disclosure obligation of the company under the due diligence clause, the CPIO stated that as per the Red Herring Prospectus of the company, there were 44 consumer cases pending against it before various consumer forums in Gujarat, whose total financial implication of was estimated to be Rs 41.8 lakh.
The appellate authority of SEBI upheld the actions of the CPIO and stated that Luktuke had raised an additional point during his first appeal. This being an allegation regarding the non-compliance of DIP guidelines by lead managers to the issue of the telecom company, which was not entertained by SEBI.
Before the Central Information Commission (CIC) Luktuke argued that SEBI could have obtained this information either from the service provider or their lead manager. But according to him they chose to arbitrarily deny his claim under RTI and termed this as deemed - refusal of information.
But on going through Luktuke's petition, CIC wondered how and why he wishes to challenge SEBI's findings who appeared to have given accurate information with regards the original RTI application.
Stating that on the basis of 'sketchy' submissions made it was not possible to interfere with the SEBI orders, CIC disallowed Luktuke's appeal.