Mumbai: Armed with greater powers to take on market offenders, Sebi on Wednesday said it can now recover long- pending dues worth about Rs 125 crore that were imposed as penalties on various entities but have not been paid as yet.
"Earlier, we were able to bar companies from raising money, ban people from taking directorship or impose penalty, but we have not been able to recover the money...Now, we can recover the money," Sebi chairman U K Sinha said.
Speaking at an investor awareness programme here, Sinha said that about Rs 125 crore worth penalties imposed by it are yet to be recovered from various offenders.
"Wherever, we have passed an order and the money has not been recovered and the money is pending with judicial authorities. The ordinance provide in those cases that Sebi can recover the money ...The amount so far is Rs 125 crore, where we have passed order but money is not recovered," Sinha said.
The government last week promulgated an ordinance to grant greater powers to Sebi, including direct powers to attach and liquidate properties and bank accounts, to conduct search and seizure operations and to seek information and records from any person or entity in India and outside.
Besides, Sebi has also been given powers to pass disgorgement orders for recovery of wrongful gains, while special courts would be set up to fast-track the cases related to contravention of securities laws.
Sinha said that promulgation of an ordinance to give more power to Sebi shows the government's seriousness to protect investors and the market regulator will use these powers to recover money from offenders and give it back to the affected investors.
As per the latest data, more than 1,200 individuals and companies have defaulted on making the payments towards penalties imposed against them by Sebi for various offences. Collectively, these defaulters, which include listed companies, brokers, merchant bankers and others, are required to pay about Rs 125 crore to Sebi.
Some of these dues are pending for about a decade, while many of these cases are also pending in courts and at other forums.
First Published: Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 20:06