Regulations
SEBI under CBI Lens
Will SEBI's draconian powers be curtailed now?
 
Among the many hurried and ill-considered legal amendments pushed by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in its last months in office was the comprehensive amendment to the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Act. The amendment has made SEBI among the most powerful capital market regulators in the world. It allows SEBI to seize assets, settle claims through consent or order the arrest of a person without intervention or ratification by a judicial forum. This was done even though SEBI’s handling of civil powers, such as consent and adjudication, were arbitrary as well as capricious. SEBI has consistently refused to issue detailed speaking orders in consent cases and there are innumerable instances where similar charges have led to vastly different settlement terms or penalties. 
 
At the end of 2014, SEBI used these sweeping new powers to order the civil imprisonment of one Vinod Hingorani for six months or until the dues are paid. The order was signed by a deputy general manager and recovery officer. The action led to a flutter in corporate and legal circles which seemed to realise the implications of SEBI’s sweeping powers only after the arrest. The buzz in legal circles was that SEBI ought to have exhausted all other remedies like attaching the assets of the person before going for a more drastic action. Also, the regulator does not seem to have framed any guidelines on when and how the power to arrest would be used nor even ensured that the recovery officer is a senior executive with adequate training in judicial processes. 
 
What makes the super powerful market regulator a matter of bigger worry is that SEBI itself is under a cloud. As many as 30 SEBI officials, many at the highest level in the regulatory body, have come under CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) in cases relating to MCX-SX, the Saradha Chit Fund scam and Bank of Rajasthan. 
 
Some would argue that the police as well as officers of many tax and enforcement agencies face just as many charges of corruption, extortion and misconduct. All the more reason why SEBI’s draconian powers to curtail the liberty of a person over what are essentially civil offences must be subject to some judicial intervention or oversight. This is especially important if the prime minister wants India to be an easier place to do business in. 

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COMMENTS

vswami

2 years ago

An Update (latest from SAT):

ICL Blogs Link HERE

"SAT Order in the DLF Case: Controlling SEBI’s Punitive Vehemence"
< the learned professional's write-up, may be read with posted comments, for clues to embark an independent study!

Dipakkumar J Shah

2 years ago

Whatever the Powers Authorities Given to SEBI after closure of Controller of Capital Issues are for only cash counter other than Registrar of Companies and Ministry of Corporate Affairs only.
They issues order but no follow up !!!! Public Issue of Ratnamani Engineering Limited as back in 31.03.1994 made a public offer . Out of this sum of public issue , by way of mere book entry of Profit not received in actual from any body outside paid the dividend , though Loss was on record. Complaint was lodged with R O C and also SEBI , nothing so far all these years??!!!

REPLY

vswami

In Reply to Dipakkumar J Shah 2 years ago

To supplement:

Pithily stated, each one of these authorities in place, - with no exception, including the other type of self- or semi’ regulatory ones but portrayed as ‘regulators’ - are intended /expected to effectively function in the demarcated respective field as bodies of “public servants” (within its true sense). Historically, however, such intention or expectation has come to be proved a myth; if were to be blunt, an unashamedly shameful faux pas. With omnipresent wanton failure to act/blatant inaction, especially even if and when absolutely warranted in the larger societal / public interests is noted to be the inevitable ‘ORDER’ of THE DAY. No wonder, despite the enormity of /volumes of so-called laws, rules , and regulations, being churned out all the time, recklessly but with vengeance, mostly as a pastime, the common man’s aspiration for ‘order ‘ has been perennially eluding, and rendered a pipe dream. That such is the harsh field reality came to be realised and been brought on governmental record, in the form of special committee reports ; but lo ! as was not unexpected , been allowed to simply gather dust in its arhives.
To anyone sincerely and intimately concerned, more so wishing to have an insight, a host of material in public domain might be of academic interest, if nothing else or beyond.
Specimen : On the topic of , -Authority & Accountability in Fiscal Administration; and

BLOGs @,-
> http://indiacorplaw.blogspot.in/2013/09/...
>A stronger backbone for regulators
>On Regualory ; SEBI , A/C Profession B /Fs (old Blogs)

vswami

2 years ago

OFFHAND
Looking back, ever since the exclusive regulator for stock markets came into being, there have been quite many instances in which its sporadic deeds/ impulsive actions, verging on not merely draconian but dictatorial disposition, have become questionable. That has been so, not merely in the larger public interests and health of the economic activity, but even on strictly legal grounds. One such instance, as recalled, is when SEBI, blatantly acting in excess of its vested powers, gone ahead in a cavalier fashion to mandate the requirement of PAN for 'demat accounts', going overboard. That was so done dogmatically assuming power it did not have, single handed with no known consultation or deliberation; and without even caring to take a conscious note of what the IT Act, of which PAN is a special creature, itself provides.
Albeit that has now faded into past history, if itching to know the critical viewpoints on that episode, a couple of articles published in Taxmann journal may be read.

Citation

PAN' REQUIREMENT FOR DEMAT ACCOUNT HOLDERS 2006) 6 CAT 565

SEBI'S DIRECTIVES MANDATING ‘PAN’ REQUREMENT (2006) 7 CAT 64

Like critique on certain other related aspects is to be found on a search of the ICL Blogs, in public domain.

mm sundram

2 years ago

sebi officials are acting as if they are running the personal shows and they are not at all taking any kind of responsibilities for the frauds or gross violations committed by the Stock exchanges and its members. even the Depository also violating the rules without safeguarding the investors assets. then what for this SEBI? we are all assuming that the SEBI is equal to SEC the us regulators whereas the SEBI is no way near. i have given proven violations by the leading SEs/Depository and stock broker. no action taken even after 7 years. the matters referred to PMO and Finance minister office also.

Vaibhav Dhoka

2 years ago

Since long SEBI's official are and were involved in corruption charges.They are competing with Revenue and police in corruption.Since there is no accountability for an government employee the corruption plays big role,and in India corrupt are protected by their political masters as both are hand in glove.And there is no judicial action against corrup.

Delhi HC questions allowing sites of app-based cab services

Apart from seizing the cabs, the PIL requests to block sites of companies providing app-based cab services in Delhi 

 

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the city government why websites of app-based cabs cannot be blocked, while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) alleging that these taxi services were operating despite the government banning them.
 
"Why can't it be done (blocking the sites)? You can block the sites. There is a wing of Delhi Police working on that. You get instructions and file an affidavit," a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice RS Endlaw said.
 
The court also issued notice to the Centre, Delhi government and the city police seeking their responses by 25th February, the next date of hearing.
 
The petition by Harkesh Gupta, filed through advocate Rajat Sehgal has contended that the 1st January order (banning app-based cabs) of the government is being violated by various app-based cab services which continue to operate and offer their services through their sites.
 
Delhi government, on the other hand, argued it is taking action against those cabs which were found operating despite the ban by seizing/ impounding them.
 
However, the petition has sought that apart from seizing the cabs, the sites of these companies should also be blocked.
 
The Delhi government had earlier told the court that the ban on app-based taxi services will continue and vehicles violating it will be seized as per its 1st January order.
 
The government had passed its order on a representation by US-based cab service provider Uber, pursuant to high court's 24th December order when it had asked the cab company to approach the transport department.
 
Uber, which works through a mobile app, had challenged the 8th December order of the city government banning Uber and 20 other such companies, including Ola Cabs, from operating in Delhi following the rape of a 27-year-old woman executive on the night of 5th December by a driver of Uber taxi.
 
The 1st January order had also said that since Uber operates diesel/ petrol run vehicles, it is violating the Supreme Court direction that the All India Tourist Permit cabs in Delhi should run on CNG.
 
The department, however, had also said that Uber "may apply (for operating) under the modified Radio Taxi Scheme, 2006".
 
Uber had, on 6th January, withdrew its plea challenging the December order of the government banning it.
 

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Railway employees directly involved in crimes, says report

According to a GRP report, railway employees and vendors are found involved in many of the crimes that take place in trains, and they also have connections with perpetrators of violent crimes 

 

Several Railway officials and workers, including pointsmen and gangmen as well as vendors are involved directly in many of the crimes that take place inside trains, says a report.
 
According to the latest, Government Railway Police (GRP) report, information regarding where and when to find potential targets is often provided to the perpetrators by these employee and vendors.
 
Maithili Sharan Gupta, special DGP, GRP, told the Times of India, railway workers and officials are found involved in many of the crimes that take place in trains, and that they also have connections with perpetrators of violent crimes. 
 
The investigation was sparked after a Railway gangman was found to be involved in the assault and looting of a young woman in a train on 19 December 2014. The accused had thrown the girl off a moving train with an intention to rob all her belongings. The findings of this investigation brought to light the shocking fact that this case was not an exception. In another case that took place in December 2014, a Bhopal Railway Police official had attempted to rape a young woman inside a train. In 2012, A GRP constable was found to be involved in the looting in a temple right outside the Railway Police Station in Indore. 
 
According to the report, officers investigating such crimes will now have to fill out a separate form. They have to provide details regarding officers on duty at the time of crime, exact location of the crime, vendors serving the coach where the crime took place and any ticket checker, coolies or railway police officials who may have entered the coach, in the report. 
 

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COMMENTS

Simple Indian

2 years ago

This has been an open secret for frequent travellers, but there's been an increase in RPF / GRP officials being involved in robberies and vendors stealing belongings of passengers, particularly at night and early morning. But, what has Special DGP, GRP suggested as remedy for such systemic flaws ?

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