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Jul 01, 2019

SAT imposes fine on SEBI for alleged lapses in ruling

The Securities Appellate Tribunal, SAT has imposed a fine on regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India, SEBI for an adjudicating officer's order that resulted in litigation and harassment for a former official of BGIL Films and Technologies. It is a rare instance wherein the SAT has penalized the regulator for alleged lapses. 

The order came on an appeal filed by Pooja Mahna, a former compliance officer of BGIL Films. An adjudicating officer of SEBI had imposed a penalty of 50 thousand rupees on Mahna, for alleged lapses in making disclosures under the insider trading norms, in October 26 last year.

The appellant had tendered her resignation in February 2010 and ceased to be in service from March 2010. She was not involved in board meeting of the company held on February 23, 2010. The tribunal said, in spite of this admitted position and the adjudicating officer observing that a benefit of doubt should be given to the appellant, the adjudicating officer still imposed a penalty of 50 thousand rupees. 

In an order, the tribunal said the appellant had to undergo this litigation and face harassment for almost one-and-a-half years and that a substantial portion was spent towards fee paid to an advocate for drafting the appeal.

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