The case relates to some brokers allegedly getting preferential access through co-location facility at the NSE, early login and dark fiber, which can allow a trader a split- second faster access to data feed of an exchange. Security and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had started investigation in the matter. However, despite 12 month being passed since it’s probe began; SEBI claims that the matter is still under investigation, and has refused to provide any information sought under an RTI filed by RTI Activist Anil Galgali, in order to bring truth in fore-front. SEBI claims that the information sought is highly confidential in nature and which may disclose the mind of the regulator and affect the strategic decision making of the regulator as a whole.
Galgali had sought information from the SEBI on the findings of the probe done on the subject matter and also the names and details of the stock brokers who were allegedly involved the matter. “Central Public Information Officer of SEBI Naveen Saxena informed me that the investigation in the matter commenced from May 11, 2017 and that no information is available with the Core Probe Committee. Although, the matter was out in open in the year 2015 itself,” said Galgali
Galgali sought information of the brokers and the extent of profit each one made due to preferential access through co-location facility at the NSE. Against this the reason given by SEBI for not providing information was that, “the disclosure of such strategic and confidential information and information received in fiduciary capacity would affect and compromise the interest of the securities market in specific , and may impact the economic interest of the country. Disclosure of such information is therefore exempt u/s 8(1) (a), 8 (1) (d) and 8(1) (e) of RTI Act.2005”.
SEBI has not provided the details of Show Cause notices issued by them to concern and the reply of the concern on the same, and has also withheld the details of breech at various points and regulatory violations committed by the benefited stock brokers, and at the part of NSE. On the current status of probe, SEBI has responded to me saying that ‘the investigation is still going on’.
“Till date the findings of the probe remain inconclusive and no action has been taken to book the guilty. It appears that the attempt are made to delay the probe and to shield the culprit brokers, concerned officers of NSE without whose connivance irregularity of such magnitude cannot be affected,” he further added.