Arvind Shukla, a Right To Information activist in Lucknow, had sought details about Rai who burst into the spotlight following the CAG report on the 2G scam.
Three more reports on the allocation of coal blocks by the UPA, post-bid changes in the running of Delhi airport and diversion of coal for power projects similarly hogged the headlines just a few days ago.
Last month when Shukla filed the RTI application, he did not expect to receive a reply that "the information sought for by you is not materially available."
An earlier query by the activist had revealed that the service records of former Uttar Pradesh cabinet secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh were not traceable. Due to this, Shukla wanted to find out whether the Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions has the dossier on Rai.
However, a letter signed by DoPT's Central Public Information Officer Narendra Gautam made it clear that the department could not access either Rai's date of birth, his Class 10 pass certificate, certificate of selection to the civil services, appointment letter, selection into the Kerala IAS cadre or his retirement date.
Informing Shukla that the DoPT "does not have any record in this regard", Narendra Gautam said that the matter had been forwarded to the CPIO, Office of the CAG, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi.
Citing the fact that Rai is a Kerala cadre IAS officer, the DoPT also advised Shukla to contact the Kerala government for relevant information regarding the CAG.