Companies & Sectors
Reliance Industries approaches Tribunal against SEBI

In the case involving sale of shares of Reliance Petroleum, SEBI is said to have been investigating for a long time the alleged violation of insider trading regulations by RIL

Mumbai: Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has approached the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) against market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) which has issued show-cause notices to the corporate giant with regard to certain alleged irregularities in its share dealings, reports PTI.


RIL's appeal against SEBI was earlier scheduled by SAT for admission on Friday, but the Tribunal has adjourned the hearing to 11th January.


While details of RIL's appeal before the SAT could not be immediately obtained, SEBI has previously issued show-cause notices to the company in cases involving sale of shares of its erstwhile subsidiary Reliance Petroleum Ltd (RPL) and allotment of shares to certain firms against warrants linked to privately placed debentures issued by RIL.


RIL has already replied to SEBI notices in these cases.


In the case involving sale of shares of RPL, SEBI is said to have been investigating for a long time the alleged violation of insider trading regulations by RIL.


RPL used to be a separately-listed company, but it was later acquired by RIL and the merger process was also completed way back in 2009.


RIL has previously sought to settle the case through SEBI's consent mechanism, which allows for settlement of cases without admission or denial of guilt after payment of certain charges and disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, if any.


However, SEBI has rejected RIL's consent pleas on more than one occasion, terming the proposed payments as too less and on other grounds.


As per the company's annual report for the fiscal year 2011-12, SEBI had issued it show-cause notices in connection with the sale of shares of erstwhile RPL and the allotment of RIL shares to certain companies against detachable warrants attached to privately placed debentures issued by it.


"The company has submitted its reply to the same," RIL had said in the annual report.


RIL is currently buying back shares under a programme launched in February last year and has repurchased shares over Rs3,800 crore from public shareholders since then -- achieving 37% of the targeted amount of Rs10,440 crore.


The buyback programme, already the biggest buy-back by an Indian company, would end on 19 January 2013.


Yesterday, SEBI proposed significant changes to existing framework for buyback of shares by companies from open market, including lowering the process for its completion to three months and a minimum repurchase of 50% of the target.


The proposals have been made in a discussion paper floated by the market regulator and a final decision would taken after taking into account comments from the public.


HC directs Union Bank of India to sanction education loan

The High Court said when a public examination had been conducted and the student had been given 78% in it, the bank cannot arbitrarily reduce the same to 38 marks and deny education loan

Madurai: Maintaining that guidelines of Union Bank of India for granting education loans was "arbitrary, without rationale and cannot be accepted by any reasonable and prudent man", the Madras High Court has directed the lender to provide Rs15,000 as education loan to enable a student of diploma in mechanical engineering to pursue his studies, reports PTI.


Justice S Tamilvanan, allowing a petition filed by Kumar, father of the student Naveenkumar, said though the student had scored 78% in the SSLC examination, the bank had awarded him only 15 marks for academic performance.


For other parameters, including branch of study, selection process followed by the polytechnic, monthly income of parents, period of stay of the student at the current place, and selection process followed by the polytechnic, the bank had allocated 23 marks.


The student had been informed that he could not be granted the education as he had scored only 32 marks, though he was expected to score 50 out of 100 marks, as per the bank guidelines.


The judge said when a public examination had been conducted and the student had been given 78% in it, the bank cannot arbitrarily reduce the same to 38 marks.


It was clear from the IBA Model Loan scheme that diploma students were eligible for loan. The petitioner's son with 78% was a meritorious student and could not be denied the loan, the judge said.


The student was undergoing a recognised DME course and hence he should be granted the loan. However, though the petitioner had applied for a loan Rs28,000, the maximum limit fixed by the bank was Rs15,000.


The judge directed the bank to sanction the loan within four weeks after verifying testimonials.


RBI's Subbarao makes a case to preserve independence of central banks

Central banks cannot fix economies by themselves and the governments too need to act from the fiscal side and both monetary and fiscal policies have to act in harmony

Mumbai: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor D Subbarao has said there is a need to preserve the independence of central banks as their mandate has expanded in recent times, reports PTI.


"The issue of monetary policy independence has acquired greater potency following the expansion of mandates of central banks and their more explicit pursuit of real sector targets such as growth and unemployment," he said.


Subbarao cited Japan, where there is political pressure on the Bank of Japan to adopt a higher inflation target so as to create more room for growth stimulus, and said the case is "by no means an exception".


His comments come weeks ahead of the RBI's third quarter policy review scheduled for 29th January in which it might go for a cut in interest rates.


Subbarao said government and RBI need to act in harmony as the central banks on their own cannot fix economic woes.


"Central banks cannot fix economies by themselves. Governments need to act too from the fiscal side and monetary and fiscal policies have to act in harmony," Subbarao said.


Welcoming Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz at the CD Deshmukh Memorial Lecture, he said the monetary and fiscal policies should "act in harmony" to achieve common goals.


The comment comes in the backdrop of growing instances of apparent divergent views between the RBI and the Finance Ministry on a string of issues, including lowering interest rates and issuance of new bank licences.


The RBI had not lowered interest rates despite nudging to do so by Finance and Commerce Ministries. The central bank did not initiate the process of issuing bank licences despite assurance from Finance Minister P Chidambaram that government would amend the Banking Act in time.




5 years ago

Difference in perception about, say, causes and effects of inflation or when to take a certain measure to induce growth or improve liquidity in the system between individuals holding different positions of responsibility is natural and can be handled by mutual discussion. What we find with political leadership, GOI and corporates on one side and statutory bodies which do not have the same access to media or legislative process on the other side is an ongoing tussle emanating from the expectation of the GOI that statutory bodies should implicitly obey the dictat of ministers, or still worse, ‘ministries’. This approach impairs the equilibrium based on the checks and balances consciously built into the system of governance by the framers of Indian Constitution. The concern of RBI Governor has to be viewed in this context.

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