Security and Exchange Board of India (SEBI): Madhabi Puri Buch, (Whole Time Member) issued ex-parte order against National Stock Advisory Research (NSAR) on finding out its indulgence in unauthorised activities.
SEBI had received a complaint against NSAR, a proprietorship firm of Neeraj S Lodhi alleging that NSAR was an unregistered stock advisory firm; was in the business of taking money from small investors by providing them wrong trading tips and calls, and after receipt of money they did not respond to phone calls and messages of investors.
After conducting the examination in this matter, the Board noticed that neither NSAR nor its proprietor Neeraj S Lodhi was registered with SEBI in any capacity. The Board observed that NSAR had been putting information in public domain/advertising by using website namely www.nationalstockadvisory.com about the various services offered by it in securities market. It was also observed that various plans/packages were being offered by NSAR to avail Services. Thus, NSAR was prima facie, holding itself out as an investment Adviser without obtaining registration from SEBI and observing mandated regulations. Regulation 3(1) of SEBI (Investment Advisers) Regulations, 2013 states that:
“…no person shall act as an investment Adviser or hold itself out as an investment Adviser unless he has obtained a certificate of registration from the Board under these regulations”.
The Board held the activities of NSAR, prima facie, in violation of Section 12(1) of SEBI Act, 1992 read with regulation 3(1) of the IA Regulations, 2013. Therefore, to prevent NSAR from collecting any more funds from the public and indulging in unauthorized investment advisory activities, the Board by way of interim ex-parte order issued the following directions against NSAR and its proprietor Neeraj S Lodhi:
- to cease and desist from acting as an investment advisor including the activity of acting and representing through any media (physical or digital) as an investment advisor,
- not to divert any funds collected from investors
- not to dispose of or alienate any assets,
- to immediately withdraw and remove all advertisements, representations, literatures, brochures, materials, publications, documents, websites, communications etc.
- not to access the securities market and buy, sell or otherwise deal in securities, either directly or indirectly, in any manner whatsoever;
- to provide a full inventory of all assets held in their name,
- ICICI Bank and SBI are directed not to permit any debits/withdrawals and not to allow credits, from/to the following bank accounts, without the permission of SEBI.
- The Depositories are directed to ensure, that they neither permit any debits nor any credits in the demat accounts held by Neeraj S Lodhi.
[National Stock Advisory Research, In Re., 2021 SCC OnLine SEBI 27, decided on 01-02-2021]
Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has put this story together