SEBI spurns 149 consent pleas; 16 from Reliance group

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Market regulator SEBI rejects 149 consent pleas; 16 from RIL group has rejected as many as 149 consent applications, finding them unsuitable for settlement through payment of charges, including 16 from Reliance Industries group.

These include applications of Reliance Industries Ltd itself, as also various group companies and that of RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani’s close aide Manoj Modi.

The other applications include those from brokerage firms India Infoline and HSBC Investdirect Securities and from entities in a case involving Bank of Rajasthan.

Under SEBI’s consent mechanism, companies can seek to settle cases with the market regulator after payment of certain charges and disgorgement of any ill—gotten gains.

However, in May 2012 SEBI tightened the regulations for settlement through consent framework. Following that, many cases including some of those related to insider trading, can’t be settled through this mechanism.

In a status report, SEBI has said that 149 consent applications have been rejected as they are not found to be in consonance with the revised guidelines and the proceedings in these cases will continue in accordance with law.

These include 13 applications from various entities in a case involving alleged violation of SEBI regulations for `Prohibition of fraudulent and unfair trade practices’ in a matter of RIL’s erstwhile subsidiary Reliance Petroleum Ltd.

Besides, there are three applications related to alleged violation of ‘Prohibition of Insider Trading Regulations’ in the matter of another erstwhile RIL group company — Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Ltd (IPCL) — which used to be a government—owned company and was later acquired by Mukesh Ambani—led group as part of a disinvestment exercise.

(This article was published on January 4, 2013)
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