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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

SEBI IPEF Aid for Legal Proceedings are issued as guidelines 2009 to enable reimbursement of 75% of expenses incurred by Investor Associations

As you are aware that SEBI has notified Securities and Exchange Board of India (Investor Protection and Education Fund) Regulations, 2009 (SEBI IEPF notified to protect investors with 14 regulations, 2009, which also amends forfeiture)

Regulation 5(1)(d) of SEBI IPEF Regulations, 2009 states that “aiding investors’ associations recognized by SEBI to undertake legal proceedings in the interest of investors in securities that are listed or proposed to be listed”.  To enable the aid, SEBI has now provided Securities and Exchange Board of India (Aid for Legal Proceedings) Guidelines, 2009.

1. The aid is for the ‘Legal proceedings’ (as defined in Reg 2(1)(g) of SEBI IPEF Regulation which) MEANS any proceedings before a court or tribunal where 1000 (one thousand) or more investors are affected or likely to be affected by:- (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) & (vi) such other market misconduct which in the opinion of the Board may be deemed appropriate;
BUT DOES NOT INCLUDE any proceeding where the Board is a party or where SEBI has initiated any enforcement action.

2. The legal aid covers the ‘Expenses’ as defined u/3(1)(a) of this Legal Aid Guidelines as ‘expenses’ means the expenses incurred with respect to any or all of the following in connection with a legal proceedings:-
i. court fees, process fees and other fees/charges payable in the courts as per law;
ii. the bills of solicitors, advocates and senior advocates for professional services rendered by them ;
iii. the clerkage and other miscellaneous expenses charged by the counsels, senior counsels and solicitors, as applicable.

3. Any Investors’ Association may make an application with details as given under Guideline 4(3) to SEBI seeking aid for undertaking legal proceedings.  Kindly note, the application and SEBI approval to be sought at every stage of the proceeding before every Court.

4. In case legal proceedings relates to mis-statement, misrepresentation or
omission in connection with the issue, sale or purchase of securities, the
application shall establish that: the investors relied upon such mis-statement, misrepresentation or omission and such statements caused monetary loss to the investors.

5. The aid for the legal proceedings shall be granted at the discretion of the
SEBI if it is prima facie satisfied that the aid is in the best interest of the investors.  SEBI shall issue a letter conveying grant of aid for a particular legal proceedings.

6. Payments: The aid for a particular legal proceedings shall be

  • UPTO Rs. 20 lakh if it is before the Supreme Court of India and
  • UPTO Rs. 10 lakh before any other forum.

7. The bills submitted shall be certified by the Auditor of the Investors’
Association and UPTO 75% of the expenses actually incurred shall be
reimbursed WITHIN 15 days of the receipt of claims.

8. The Investor Association shall submit a periodical report of the legal proceedings to SEBI and on conclusion of proceedings, a detailed report statement to be submitted with a self-certified statement on the utilization of aid by it.


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