Investor Issues
Wiped out by Motilal Oswal, an aggrieved small investor won in consumer court but got shafted by SEBI

An army officer narrates his harrowing tale of how his life savings got wiped out at Motilal Oswal, his victory in consumer courts and how SEBI took the brokers’ side despite clear grounds of fraud and forgery. And SEBI is supposed to protect investors’ interests!

The very first sentence in The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Act, 1992 states as follows:
 

”An Act to provide for the establishment of a Board to protect the interests of investors in securities and to promote the development of, and to regulate, the securities market and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto”.

 

Has SEBI lived upto this? Or does it work for the big guns of the industry. Hear my story and you be the judge.
 

I opened an account with Motilal Oswal Securities (MOSL) on 14 February 2006. Three months later, by 26 May 2006, I got wiped out. I had become a victim of unauthorised trading. I signed NO delivery instruction slips and yet my stocks were sold. I still wonder how! The broker will not tell me how he managed to dispose off my stocks without my authorisation/delivery instruction slip. My life savings were liquidated. I was seriously considering suicide. It took me two years to come out of the shock and the consequent severe setback to my health. Even to this day I am unable to comprehend how a broker can do it so audaciously and still get away. Unbelievable but true.
 

SEBI is fully aware of such a rampant practice and has issued a notification about it a year ago. (http://www.sebi.gov.in/cms/sebi_data/attachdocs/1314271320898.pdf )
 

I went to District Consumer Forum. I have never been to any court in my life up until then. My lawyer lost the case. Most lawyers do not even know what demat is. I went on to appeal to the state commission, in Bangalore. This time I decided to argue the case myself. The judge was convinced of my plea and sent the case back to District Forum for retrial, directing all evidences and witnesses be examined thoroughly.
 

The retrial was exhaustive and took a long time. At the fag end of the retrial, for the first time, MOSL stated that the sale was done on the basis of Power Of Attorney (POA) given by me. This was a surprise not only to me but also to the court to whom MOSL had earlier given the copies of agreements, under oath, which did not contain any POA. I never signed any POA and a senior MOSL official gave a letter in writing to the court to that effect!
 

The District Forum found out that the POA turned out to be bogus and gave a speaking judgement in my favour, pointing out all the flaws and infirmities, in detail, covering about four pages on the POA alone. My signature, it noted, was a photocopy as I never signed any POA. This judgement was later fully upheld by the state commission.
 

On 7 July 2011, I lodged a complaint to SEBI (vide SCORES-SEBIE/MH11/0000764/1) through its SCORES redressal mechanism, and, along with it, I sent the full judgement copy. On 21 April 2012, after nine and a half months (!), SEBI disposed off my complaint in an evasive and indifferent manner. I thought SEBI will be outraged to hear that stocks are sold away on the basis of such bogus and fraudulent POA. I was so wrong! SEBI was least perturbed as if it was a routine matter to them.
 

SEBI acted like a post office—it sent my SCORES complaint to CDSL to whom MOSL, this time, produced an entirely different POA, somewhat correcting the mistakes pointed out by the consumer court, again with my signature photocopied. Strangely, neither CDSL nor SEBI found it odd and weird that any one would sign two POAs on the same day for the same purpose! Both POAs did not have proper identifiable witnesses. The date of signing the document was overwritten and the place was scribbled in one and absent in the other. In the second POA, the seal of the authorised signatory is not MOSL while the first POA, it is different from the one that is in the main agreement.
 

If only our SEBI is fair and strong, will any broker dare indulge in such acts which erode the very sanctity of stock market operations of our country.
 

SEBI just did not want to be bothered about looking into all this, despite nine and a half months, an inordinate time it had taken. What did SEBI do for nine and a half months with my complaint? CDSL, predictably, upheld the broker's version and SEBI did the post office act of forwarding that to me. Will any broker own up to the crime committed? Why did SEBI fail to apply its mind?
 

Had SEBI applied its mind, it would not have taken it more than nine and a half days to verify and come out with a ruling worthy of the trust and mandate conferred on it by the nation. Even an illiterate person would have discerned the blatant fraud, which is so very obvious, prima-facie. Yet SEBI chose to be blind, intentionally or otherwise.
 

When I make such a serious complaint, even providing all the proof, the least I expected was to be told by SEBI whether my complaint is valid or not. If valid, I am entitled to know that action is taken by SEBI. If not, I am entitled to know the reason. Consumer courts did a far more superior, better and speedier professional job than SEBI.
 

After seeing the indifferent and callous way SEBI disposed off my complaint, I wrote to all the concerned SEBI officials, with a copy to the Chairman, SEBI. No one, including, of course, the Chairman cared to reply, one way or the other. I wonder why? Is this the way SEBI believes in 'protecting investor interests'?
 

I feel exasperated that I am left with no other option except to write this open letter. I am enclosing copy of my mail addressed to no less a person than President of India himself, who until recently was the finance minister. I thought it is my duty to let the President know, especially when there is a call to induct more investors by giving tax incentives.
 

Will SEBI ‘protect the interests of investors '? Will investors also have to run from pillar to post, because of an indifferent SEBI? Will they also get the same apathetic treatment after they lose everything and approach SEBI for justice?
 

 (Wing Commander CR Mohan Raj VM [Retd] is a winner of Vayu Sena Medal [Presidential Award] for gallantry in the Indo-Pak war in 1971.)

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COMMENTS

Nandita

3 years ago

Wg. Crd. Mohan Raj, I can only empathize with you -- my parents have faced *exactly* the same situation with Motilal Oswal, the consumer court and SEBI. I shall write the details in my blog shortly, and I'll share the details with you. I wish we could get together and bring Motilal Oswal to justice.

Debashis

4 years ago

My suggestion to avoid these problem is as under
I) In stead of one broker open account with multiple brokers dividing your investment. When a broker sees huge money he is tempted to carry out unauthorised trade.
II) Tell your broker strictly not to do ant trade on their own. You regularly check your trades and warn them in case of any unauthorised trade.
III) Try to open account in head office in stead of small brach offices. Normally branch offices have a target and they are desparate to meet the target.

Naresh

4 years ago

The Ministry of Finance, SEBI are all prostitutes (I'm insulting prostitutes by equating them with these filthy regulators).

We just wonder what's the rate paid by the brokers to overlook a case against them. And we call prostitutes immoral! What a double standard society we are.

Rule of law? There is none in India.

Investors should pull their capital out of India. Get the Dickenson out of Motilal and put of India. Use the RBI liberalized remittance scheme and park your assets in Singapore dollars in Singapore where there is asset protection and rule of law.

JAGADEESA G CHARY

5 years ago

I also have a similar horrifying experience for the past 2 years. I am a retired personal who underwent multiple spinal surgeries, but still attended the IGRG, Arbitration and appeal procedures with BSE. I am forwarding my case below. Why dont we form a forum and fight the cases, because individually we become very weak compared to the mighty and all powerful lobby of Broker firms who can go to any extent to intimidate the innocent investors. I am planning to take up the matter through consumer court. Will some one answer my questions detailed in my case report below. My contact no is +918055111973 and email id - [email protected]
I was introduced to Portfolio Management Services with ING by my RM at ICICI Securities and got a profit of Rs. 1 lac for an investment of Rs. 10 lacs within 6 months. Based on this concept the RM of ICICI securities when he joined Member’s Company (with whom the present dispute rests) has asked me to transfer my Demat shares worth nearly 23 lacs on 3-9-10 held at ICICI Sec to his company’s branch office at Pune for which he will provide a monthly earnings of Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 35,000 per month and accordingly entered into Member-Client agreement. He asked for Rs. 5000 per month as service charges to be paid as advance for every month. I have remitted Rs. 5000 to his ICICI account in the end of Aug 2010.
The member started trading in my account without having any Orders placed on them and created a loss of more than Rs. 1 lac within the first 20 working days of opening the account with them. Alarmed I have given instructions through email on 18-10-10 to stop transactions and as per a clause in Member Client Agreement, they are not supposed to carry any transactions without my written consent to start transactions. However they continued to trade as usual and increased the losses month after month staggering at Rs. 8 lacs within 6 months. (Value of trades appr. Rs. 23 crores) The RM asked me not to respond to any of SMSes, tale-confirmations and Contract notes sent by the member periodically since they are meant only for information and nothing to do with profit generation. I have written all together 22 emails (including a few SOS mails) followed by telephonic talks with RM and AVP during the period accusing them of violating their promise of generating the profit of Rs. 30000 to Rs. 35000 per month and repeatedly asked them to stop transactions. But none of the emails were responded by their personnel at Pune. Having frustrated by their attitude I have finally decided to take up the matter with their complaint cell at Mumbai and also with SEBI. Alarmed by my this action, the AVP and RM of Pune met me at Pune railway station (as I was leaving for Chennai) and persuaded me not to escalate the matter and they will start creating profits with immediate effect. They have also sent me an email to this effect on 23-3-11 and in fact generated a profit of appr Rs. 30000 in the subsequent month.
However having bitterly tasted their attitude, I wished to continue my tirade with their Mumbai office and SEBI. SEBI has directed me to take up the matter with BSE and NSE respectively through the laid down arbitration procedures. Though lacking the basic knowledge of fighting the case, I have personally attended IGRC meeting and 3 Arbitration proceedings, where the legal head of Member’s Mumbai branch along with an advocate appointed by them started refuting all my charges. Instead of providing suitable answer as to why their Pune personnel kept silent on my various emails and stop transactions instructions, they claimed that (1) no such verbal promise was made by their personnel, (2) they do not have any mechanism to record the telephonic orders said to have been placed by me, (3) that I have changed my mind after writing email and gave contrary instructions by phone to their personnel or the Member’s personnel met me each time I wrote an email at my residence and they claimed I have asked them to continue to trade (both the versions are totally false) and continued to placed orders. They do not have any telephonic transcripts for such conversations nor have they any recorded minutes of the meeting held with me and circulated to me by email or otherwise.
The BSE arbitration Committee has asked me after 3 meetings to come out clearly on the extent of claim amount from the transactions taken place and to my specific query , they said they cannot entertain my claim based on cheating, Forgery (my signatures were forged by the Member on 2 documents related to NSE), manipulation of telephonic transcripts ( the Member has produced the telephonic transcripts of post transactions details shared by the Member’s Pune personnel with me, (which I strongly believe are manipulated) which the Member is strongly contending as enough proof along with the Contract notes sent by them. They advised me to take through courts for such acts of the Member.
I have to engage the services of a chartered account to fulfill the requirement of arbitrators and the chartered accounted pointed out certain wrong transactions done by the Member and put up the claim. The award passed by the Arbitration committee went against me and I challenged the award by an Appeal to Arbitration through an advocate who also objected to the member trading the same scrip both in BSE and NSE and other errors done by the Member. The Award on my appeal was also gone against me and I was advised to seek the justice through High court. The claim amount involved in BSE is appr. 2.3 lacs.
So far I have not started my Arbitration proceedings with NSE where my claim amount is appr. 8 lacs.
Pl clarify:
Is it possible to take up the matter related to BSE with Consumer forum at Pune on the grounds of cheating, forgery and manipulation of voice recordings, (since the tradings were handled by Pune branch personnel) though the Jurisdiction as per Member-client agreement is Mumbai?
Since the transactions were conducted without any Orders placed by me (the direct evidence is not available with Member), keeping the client in dark by deliberately not replying to any of the Client’s emails, forging of my signatures, manipulation of telephonic transcripts, can I take up the matter related to my claim with NSE also through Consumer court without undergoing the tedious procedures of Arbitrations, appeal with NSE, since I have not yet started my arbitration proceedings with NSE. (It took more than a year in BSE to undergo Arbitration proceedings and Appeal)
During my IGRC meeting with BSE, one of the judges clarified that the telephonic transcripts are not considered as evidence. Is it true?
The award on my appeal was dated on 8-10-12. What is the permitted time limit to make an appeal in Consumer court?
GJ Chary.
pune

Dayananda Kamath k

5 years ago

since sebi is not interested in taking action against these elite brokerages may be because they get their moolha from them.they create more hurdles for the people to enter the market by various rules which will only help brokers to quote these rules to silence the small investor. even complaints to the sebi will not get any response easily.they are more concerned with porceedure of filing the complaint than content of the complaint.

NSriramamurty

5 years ago

I Bought Himachal Fibers Shares in IPO.I sold some Partly .After One and Half Decade I could not Trace my Share Certicates,Having changed many Places in Career on Transfers,Misplaced Share certificates. Being Dilemma whether I sold all Shares,I found Presant Registrar from BSE Web and wrote to Registrar to issue me Share Certificates to my Presant Address .Sinature Difference Pointed out,which is being Compleid.To avoid such Hardships SEBI shall impose following Conditions.
( 1 ) All brokers and Listed Companies Periodically i.e. Quarterly to send to clients Details of Shares in Demat A/C or Phisical Shares.This avoids
Troubles of Wing commader and all Share Holders.This Rule exist in F&O Market Transactions.Companies addresses and Registrars are Changing .RBI instructed Banks to follow it.All Regulators ,if informing perodically to concerned Investors Hardships gets Mitigated.On Computerisation of all records,informing Concerned becomes easy atleast to their E-Mail IDs.
Motilal Oswal Shall be Penalised heavily for selling his Shares and instead of accepting their mistake and settling with him ,doomed to try to create Forged Document and Harass him.

sachchidanand

5 years ago

I am also a victim of fraud by some well known Companies , like Godrej GROUP and SEBI has simply protected the Company , blindly and willfully . SCORES is most ineffective , careless and Anti- Investor forum

dinesh

5 years ago

n

P M Ravindran

5 years ago

I am a judicial reforms activist and I have shared my experiences through blogs at http://raviforjustice.blogspot.com

I am now convinced that all that is achieved by victims complaining to concerned authorities only helps these authorities to blackmail the ones complained against and make money for themselves!

P M Ravindran

5 years ago

Yet another soldier meets his nemesis in the mafiadom that is our justice delivery system! He is lucky that the state consumer disputes redressal commission helped him in getting a moral victory of sorts. Anyhow thanks for sharing. I shall pass it on through fb and other sites that share such info. Consumers better be wary!

pradeep

5 years ago

this article clearly looks extremely exaggerated. as the author said, his shares were sold without his request. this action by broken is indeed wrong but brokerage seems to be the only loss. what's so big deal, we tend to many times sell our stocks either due to news or to switch to better stocks and realize later that the former choice was better. in the course we sell, buy-sell, buy again thereby paying more brokerage than the gentleman author has paid. cheer up dude, you would have not wasted your 5 years of struggle just to prove mistake of a junior employee who would have sold your shares by mistake. the poor fellow must have lost his job also. similar thing happened with me with religare. i discussed with their senior manager and he offered one month brokerage free trading. :)
i think issue is that we expect flawless services from brokers at most competitive price. with such expectation one should demat with icici direct and pay hefty sums as brokerage. guys, after all brokers are running a process and even a six sigma process allows 3.6 defects in 1 million.

REPLY

NSriramamurty

In Reply to pradeep 5 years ago

Every One's Outcry is for SEBI's Collusion with Brokers and Collectively Eating away Small Investor's Money. MoneyLife has brought out many instances of SEBI's Faults ,but no SEBI official cares and all Ministries Escape by simply telling SEBI is formed to take of all Investors Grievances.EveryWhere Corruption Exist.----- You Get to Realise SEBI's Blunders after a Decade's Experince with Stock Trading,wondering how your money is evaporating in this Market for No Fault of Yours bot of SEBI and Broker's Procedures.---- IN SATYAM Compuers Case,its Investors in USA and Europe sued the Company for Millions of Dollars and they got Reimbursed by Mahindra Satyam by Paying Huge Amounts and Settling with them-Indian Investors pitiably Cried Suffering Huge Losses- because our LAWs are defective.Their Lapses should be Punished with heavy Penalties,so that they can not be so Careless in Cheating Investors/ Traders.

P M Ravindran

In Reply to pradeep 5 years ago

Only brokerage seems to be the loss? Wake up dud! Even the capital had vanished!

Vaibhav Dhoka

In Reply to pradeep 5 years ago

E securities have opened floodgate of corrupt practices,cheating by brokers.You seems to be worried about brokerage staff,but have no remose for investor loosing.This attitude hardens criminality of brokersge houses.

Vaidya Dattatraya Vasudeo

In Reply to pradeep 5 years ago

It seems your view are based on the fact that the Broker accepted the mistake and did compensate you. I wonder what would have been your reaction if that had not happened.

Do you guarantee on behalf of icici direct that the service will be par excellence. And no matter what price you are charged, if a service is offered it must be excellent. No body has forced Motilal to be in this business.

arun adalja

In Reply to pradeep 5 years ago

here question of trust comes in picture and all brokerage house do such things then entire concept of depository is lost.how can they use poa for such things without consent?their depository licence must be suspended and heavy penalty must be imposed.sebi always favours exchanges and brokerage houses.

Amit Bhargava

In Reply to pradeep 5 years ago

No offence meant, but in the absence of proper disclosures, I would assume that you have a conflict of interest. Your post here, is shocking.

Amit Bhargava

In Reply to pradeep 5 years ago

Dear Pradeep,

I would like to hear from you when your broker uses a forged power of attorney and sells your shares without authorisation, and you end losing life long savings.

No offence meant, but in the absence of proper disclosures, I would assume that you have a conflict of interest. You post here, is shocking.

best

Amit

Bhupesh

5 years ago

I sympathize with you sir, I am in process of closing down my Motilal Oswal account!

May god give some wisdom to our FM to withdraw that crap RGESS and make scam-ester pay for their mis-deed.

REPLY

PPM

In Reply to Bhupesh 5 years ago

FM is the number 1 scamster.

ashok sen

5 years ago

On the face of it, Wing Commander Mohan Raj seems to be subjected to fraud by MOSL,and then to a total let down by SEBI.
What does the gentleman do now? Can Moneylife give a possible solution for him to get justice.
Its doubtful the President of India will take MOSL and SEBI to task.The beaurecrats in the Presidents office, and SEBI will only protect each others backside, and to hell with the citizen

arun adalja

5 years ago

sebi and exchanges always favours companies and brokerage houses and not worried about poor investors.please check your demat accounts and ledger every week so that you can find out if anything goes wrong.do not give poa to broker as it is very very risky.

gulabo

5 years ago

If the broker has indeed forged the POA, then it is a serious offense.

The client should file an FIR against the broking house.

IPC sections 177, 193, 203, 405, 415, 417, 419, 420, 463, 464, 465 etc will be applicable.

Mr Motilal can be sent to jail for up to 7 years.

SEBI approves government's stake hike in IFCI to over 55% from less than 1%

Last month, the cabinet approved a proposal for conversion of debentures worth Rs923 crore into shares of IFCI, that in turn raised government's stake to over 55% from less than 1%

 
New Delhi: Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has approved a proposed hike of the government's stake in Industrial Finance Corporation of India Ltd (IFCI) to 55.57% to make it a state-run company, without triggering an open offer for shares of public investors, reports PTI.
 
The Union Cabinet last month approved a proposal for conversion of debentures worth Rs923 crore into shares of IFCI, following which the government's stake in the financial institution would rise to 55.57%, from a meagre 0.0000011% currently.
 
Subsequently, the Finance Ministry wrote to SEBI on 29th August, seeking an exemption from the requirement of making an open offer.
 
IFCI is into funding of industrial projects. It has no promoters but major shareholder is LIC.
 
As per SEBI's takeover norms, any stake purchase of 25% or more requires the acquirer to make an open offer for a further 26% stake from the public shareholders.
 
In an order, dated 24th September and released on Monday, SEBI said that it has decided to grant the exemption to the acquirer, the Government of India in this case, as the current proposal was in consonance with the previously declared government policy with regard to IFCI Ltd.
 
SEBI added that IFCI was made a public limited company with a view to make it a government company and a substantial amount of public funds have been infused into it.
 
SEBI's Whole-Time Member Rajeev Kumar Agarwal said that conversion of such debts into equity would provide "more accountability and would stand as an additional safeguard to the investment of such public funds.
 
"These observations also address the issues raised by the Target Company (IFCI) with respect to the interests of the investors...," he said.
 

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ONGC denies $5 billion bid for ConcoPhillips assets

Denying reports that ONGC has bid $5 billion for the Canadian assets of ConcoPhillips, the state-run company said it is still looking at the four CMB blocks put up for sale

 
Mumbai: State-run oil and gas behemoth ONGC on Tuesday denied reports that it has bid $5 billion for the Canadian assets of ConcoPhillips along with Oil India and IndianOil, but said it is looking at international assets purchases, reports PTI.
 
Denying any credibility to the report appearing in media that it has already bid for the four CBM blocks of ConcoPhillips in Canada, ONGC chairman and managing director Sudhir Vasudeva said, "the source clearly is not ONGC. I want to deny that we have made any such bids." 
 
Stating that the company is always on the lookout for opportunities to buy asset, he said all he could tell is that ONGC is looking at these four CMB blocks, which are up for sale.
 
"We keep on looking at opportunities in the market but it is not right to keep on commenting on them. As such deals are sensitive and there are confidential agreements to be signed so it is not correct to comment on them. But I can't give you a timeline, though it is going to be shortly.
 
"But I can categorically say that we have not made a bid yet for the $5 billion deal," Vasudeva said on the sidelines of an All-India Management Association summit here.
 
Media reports quoting unnamed ONGC Videsh sources had said yesterday that it along with Oil India and IndianOil has bid $5 billion for stakes in Canadian oil sands assets owned by ConocoPhillips.
 
According to the report, they submitted the bids in late July.
 
In January, ConocoPhillips put stakes in six Alberta sands properties on the block. They produce 12,000 barrels of oil a day from an estimated 30 billion barrels of bitumen.
 
ONGC Videsh, which is the overseas investment arm of ONGC, had recently bought the 2.7% stake of Hess in the large Azeri, Chirag and Guneshli (ACG) Group of oil fields in Azerbaijan. 
 
On the Central auditor CAG castigating the company for hiring a deep-sea drilling rig from Reliance without inviting competitive bids, Vasudeva said they are in the process of studying the CAG report and replying to the same.
 
"We have replied in the past but our view has not been taken into consideration. There were valid reasons. We have gone through a rigid process, rigorous process of diligence etc, duly approved by the board and accordingly we had gone ahead and taken this.
 
"Anybody will not deliberately sell something wrong. We don't think we have done anything wrong, but if there are difference in perceptions, then we will correct those perceptions. That can be done only through dialogues and discussions," the ONGC chairman said.
 
But to a query on when is the ONGC likely to respond to the CAG, he shot back saying "I can't reply to it now." 
 
The Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG), in a report tabled in Parliament late last month, had hauled up ONGC for hiring a deep sea drilling rig from Reliance Industries without calling for competitive bids and said that the deal was untenable.
 
The CAG report said ONGC "deviated from the standard tendering procedure and hired a rig viz Dhirubhai Deepwater KG-1 (DDKG-1) from RIL without calling for competitive bids for a period of four years on untenable grounds." 
 
In May 2009, ONGC had hired the DDKG-1 from RIL for four years ending July 2013 without calling for competitive bids at an operating day rate of $495,000 for first 180 days and at $510,000 from 181st day onwards. The effective day rate worked out to $563,488.
 
CAG said the company in December 2008 projected a requirement of rig capable of drilling in ultra deep water (water depth of 10,000 ft) by December 2010 to meet its work commitment in exploration block it had won under NELP rounds.
 
The rig, CAG pointed out, was in fact hired by RIL from Deepwater Pacific-1 Inc in October 2007, for five years commencing July 2009 and ending July 2014.
 

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