The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has barred Pradeep Pandya, former CNBC Awaaz anchor, and Alpesh Vasanji Furiya, a technical analyst earlier associated with the channel, from accessing the securities market for five years. The duo have been fined ₹1 crore each.

Six other entities have been fined ₹10 lakh each and barred for five years.

Pandya, while serving as an anchor for CNBC Awaaz, shared confidential information regarding upcoming stock recommendations with Alpesh Furiya and vice-versa. Furiya, capitalising on this privileged information, executed trades through his own accounts and those of related entities, positioning himself to profit before the recommendations were publicly aired.

This behaviour demonstrates a clear intent to leverage insider information and exploit information asymmetry for personal gain, Sebi observed. The regulator likened the matter to a classical front-running case where a trader tries to take advantage of the expected price change resulting from an impending transaction in securities.

“When TV anchors engage in sharing material non-public information, it not only breaches ethical standards but also distorts market dynamics. Such acts of selective information dissemination give unfair advantages to a few, undermining the principle of equal access to information. This erosion of trust can lead to a significant loss of confidence among investors, who may feel that the markets are rigged against them,” SEBI’s 55-page order said.