Sebi says enforcement not dependent on profile of entities
Chennai: In the wake of cases coming to fore of alleged wrongdoings by large corporates like RIL group and top company executives, Sebi on Friday said its enforcement actions are being undertaken very seriously, and irrespective of the profile of the persons or entities involved.
While refusing to comment specifically on individual companies, Sebi Chairman U K Sinha told reporters that the regulator would take action in a transparent manner, whenever and wherever there is a legal ground and available evidence.
He was replying to queries regarding Sebi's action in a high-profile case involving suspected violation of insider trading norms by Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd and various related entities, as also in the case of alleged irregularities by Polaris Software chief Arun Jain.
"If you are asking questions on specific cases, I will not be able to give you a specific answer. What I can explain to you that enforcement actions are being taken by Sebi with lot of seriousness irrespective of the party or the person of a company involved," he said.
"And if we find that there are legal grounds available, evidence is available for Sebi to take enforcement action, we will take that action, but we will take that action in a very transparent way," Sinha added.
Reliance Industries has filed an appeal before the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) against Sebi's decision to reject a consent plea of the company to settle a long-running probe into suspected violation of insider trading norms.
In May 2012, Sebi changed the laws governing consent mechanism, which allows the companies to seek settlement of Sebi probe after payment of applicable charges and the ill-gotten gains, if any, without admission or denial of guilt.
The new norms, however, do not allow for settlement of insider trading cases.
"Sebi is the only regulator in the world, that has said what can be consented and what cannot be consented," Sinha said, adding that Sebi has made this public by putting these terms available on its website.
"We have issued a circular that what can be consented and what is not available for consent and we have also provided that in what manner that consent amount can be calculated," he said.
Sinha said Sebi has rejected 149 consent pleas since the new rules were put in place and the list has been made public.
Explaining the legal position on these cases, Sinha said that normal enforcement proceedings would now continue against all of these entities and necessary actions would be initiated to resume the proceedings wherever they had stopped.
"Beyond that I can't answer on any specific companies," the Sebi chief said.