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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Supreme Court gives statutory shield to SEBI from SAT

THE Supreme Court on Tuesday said the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) has no discretionary power to interfere with orders passed by market regulator Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI). Allowing SEBI’s plea, the court said the tribunal has to do what is prescribed under the statute.

“When something is to be done statutorily in a particular way, it can only be done that way. There is no scope for taking shelter under a discretionary power,” said a bench comprising Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice LS Panta. The court rejected the plea that the tribunal can interfere with the order passed by SEBI. The court also turned down the plea that under section 15 T (4) of the Act, the tribunal is empowered to pass such orders on the appeal as it thinks fit, confirming, modifying or setting aside the order of SEBI.

SEBI had filed two appeals against order passed by the tribunal. In one case, Saikala Associates acted as a sub-broker at the National Stock Exchange with 2 NSE Members — MIS PCS Securities and M/S Zen Securities — without being registered as a sub-broker with SEBI between 2000 and May 2002. It had created the value of Rs 403.29 crore in breach of section 12(1) of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992 (read with Rule 3 of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Stock Brokers & Sub Brokers) Rules, 1992.)

In the second case Shilpa Stock, registered as a SEBI broker while executing trades on behalf of its client Kamlesh Shroff had dealt with Jairam Enterprises, an un-registered sub-broker. Again, it was in violation of SEBI rule. The tribunal had said the proved charges were not serious enough to warrant suspension of certificate of registration and had set aside the SEBI order. SEBI challenged this in the apex court. The regulator had said in terms of Regulation 25 of the SEBI regulations & circulars, (stock brokers and sub-brokers), which was applicable prior to the amendment with effect from November 2, 2003, it was provided that any contravention of any provisions of the Act, rules and regulations is to be dealt with in the manner provided in Regulations 26 to 32 of the Regulation prior to the amendment with effect from September 27, 2002.


The provisions of section 12(3) of the 1992 Act confer power on SEBI, by an order, to suspend or cancel a certificate of registration in such manner as may be determined by regulations, provided that no order under the said section will be made unless the person concerned has been given a reasonable opportunity of being heard, the appellant had said. It had further said as per Rule 3 of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Stock Brokers & Sub Brokers) Rules, 1992, the existing brokers & sub-brokers were allowed to continue business pending registration but no new person commencing the business of the broker or sub-broker after August 20, 1992 could do the business pending registration and could commence only after being registered.

The court said, “In the instant case, the position of broker/sub-broker in case of violation is statutorily provided under Section 12 of the Act, which has to be read along with Rule 3 of the Rules. No power is conferred on the tribunal to travel beyond the areas covered by section 12 and Rule 3.”

Source: The Economic Times

The concerned citation of the case is S.E.B.I  Versus Saikala Associates Ltd. with CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4640 OF 2006 and the date of judgement is April 21, 2009. For complete judgement one can check SC website or else follow the below URL :-

Thanks - CS Monika Bhardwaj of CS Mysore


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