SEBI cracks whip against illegal, money collecting companies

In the last month alone, SEBI started action in a number of cases, where close to Rs5,000 crore has been raised through redeemable preference shares and similar instruments by money circulating companies


Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has begun coming down hard on entities raising public money illegally through redeemable preference shares (RPS) and similar instruments, as also through their sister concerns despite being barred from the markets.


Action has been initiated in a number of such cases in the past one month, wherein close to Rs5,000 crore has been raised through issuance of such securities.


These cases are other than those involving illicit 'collective investment schemes' (CIS). SEBI has also initiated action in many CIS cases and companies that raised close to Rs4,000 crore have been asked to wind down their schemes.


In connection with violation of capital market norms in issuance of RPS and other securities, at least seven companies, as also their promoters and directors, faced strict action by the SEBI in July itself.


These companies were found to have issued debentures and preference shares without complying with the necessary regulatory laws.


Another eight companies faced a SEBI crackdown last month for violation of CIS regulations, and these include some companies based in Kolkata.


There are some sister concerns of companies that were earlier barred from raising funds as well as from launching investment schemes earlier, shows an analysis of recent orders passed by SEBI.


The regulator in one of its orders has now restrained Saiprasad Corp from raising funds from the public through its schemes ( The regulator had last year barred two group companies, Saiprasad Foods and Saiprasad Properties, from raising funds from the public.


Similarly, on 28th July, SEBI prohibited Nicer Green Housing Infrastructure Developers from raising further funds while it had issued a restraining order against another group company, Nicer Green Forest in March last year.


In one of its biggest crackdowns, SEBI has barred Pancard Club India, which had raised more than Rs3,000 crore from nearly 25 lakh investors. (


SEBI had also cracked down on firms raising money from the public by issuing securities such as redeemable preference shares and non-convertible preference shares, among others, without following public issue norms.


During last month, SEBI had prohibited Kolkata-based companies — PAFL Industries, Sunplant Forgings and Sunplant Constructions — from raising money through issue of securities till further directions.


Similar orders were also issued against Mega Mould, which had raised Rs716 crore from investors and Wasankar Wealth Management (Rs12.89 crore), during the month.


RTI Judgement Series: When different people are shown as coach, manager for same Olympic

The appellant received two sets of different names as coach and manager who had gone with the Indian wrestling team to the Beijing Olympics. This is the 206th in a series of important RTI judgements given by former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi


The Central Information Commission (CIC), while allowing an appeal, directed the Public Information Officer (PIO) of Directorate of Education, Government of NCT of Delhi, to look at the records based on which the information was provided to the appellant and also confirm with the IOA about the names of the coach and the manager who had gone with the wrestling team to the Bejing Olympics.


While giving the judgement on 9 August 2010, under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner, said, "It is indeed a sad comment that trying to get information about the officials who went with the national team leads to such contradictory results."


Delhi resident, Ashok Bhasin, on 4 February 2009, sought from the PIO information regarding players, officials and coaches in international events. Here is the information the appellant had sought...


Participation of players, officials, coaches in International events, Olympic Games, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and World Championships for the last 3 years till date.


The PIO, however, forwarded the information as received from the Sports Branch whereby Bhasin, the appellant was informed that the information sought did not pertain to the Sports Branch.


Bhasin, citing unsatisfactory information provided by the PIO, filed his first appeal. There was no mention of any order from the First Appellate Authority (FAA).


Bhasin, then approached the CIC with his second appeal. He stated that the information provided by the PIO in compliance with the FAA’s order vide letter dated 14 May 2010 was incomplete.


During the hearing, Mr Gandhi, the then CIC, observed that the appellant has sought details of the players and officials who were sent to various International sporting events. The Bench noted that Bhasin, the appellant had obtained this list for the Beijing Olympics Games 2008 and has drawn the attention of the CIC to a significant inconsistency.


The list given to Bhasin by the Directorate of Education showed that Satpal, the additional DE (Sports) and Rampal, (Wrestling Coach) had gone for the Olympic Games from Indian Olympic Association (IOA).


On the other hand, Bhasin showed a letter of 12 April 2010 from the Indian Olympic Association giving a list of athletes and officials who had gone to the Beijing Olympics. This list showed Piara Ram Sondhi as coach and Kartar Singh as manager.


"Thus information obtained from IOA and from the Directorate of Education’s Sport Branch show different coaches and managers as having gone in the wrestling team to the Beijing Olympics," Mr Gandhi noted.


Bhasin claimed that though Mr Rampal has gone as wrestling coach on behalf of Delhi Government, the entire credit and rewards as coach for the Bronze Medal won by Sushil Kumar was given to Mr Satpal.


While allowing the appeal, Mr Gandhi, directed the PIO to confirm with the records and also get confirmation from the IOA and inform the appellant about the names of the manager and the coach of the wrestling team who went to the Beijing Olympics to the appellant before 10 September 2010.




Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2010/001816/8875


Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2010/001816



Appellant                                                        : Ashok Bhasin

                                                                             The Delhi Sportsmen Association,

                                                                             1618, Chandrawal Road,



Respondent                                                    : Anjum Masood

                                                                            Public Information Officer & Additional Director

                                                                            Directorate of Education,

                                                                            Government of N.C.T. of Delhi,

                                                                            RTI Cell, Room No. 220,

                                                                            Old Secretariat, Delhi-110054


FTC issues new set of recommendations to prevent cramming by telcos

The US FTC recommended telecom companies to prevent cramming, which is the illegal practice of hiding unauthorized charges, including giving customers express right to block third-party charges and developing a transparent process for resolving disputes


About four weeks after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a multimillion-dollar complaint against T-Mobile on cramming issues, the agency on Monday issued a report on how mobile carriers and others should protect consumers from it.

A press release lists five recommendations for companies to follow to prevent cramming, which is the illegal practice of hiding unauthorized charges, including giving customers the express right to block third-party charges and developing a transparent process for resolving disputes. The agency brought three cases of mobile cramming in 2013, which resulted in more than $160 million in judgments.

In response to the July 1 complaint against T-Mobile, USA CEO John Legere said there were protections already in place and blamed the third-party providers for acting irresponsibly. The FTC alleges in its complaint that T-Mobile used third-party billing to collect up to 40 percent of the total amount charged to customers.

On Tuesday, the FTC announced that a California federal court had “temporarily halted” a mobile phone cramming scheme that allegedly bilked more than $100 million from unknowing consumers. Previously, the FTC brought a complaint against the six defendants that accused them of tricking consumers into providing their mobile phone numbers with bogus offers and gift cards posted on fake websites.

For more tips on protecting yourself from cramming and other types of cell phone fraud, click here.



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