Bombay High Court: In a bunch of petitions challenging the notices issued by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (‘SEBI’) based on ‘fit and proper person’ criteria under Clause 3 (b)(ii) of Schedule II SEBI (Intermediaries) Regulations, 2008, the Division Bench of G.S. Patel and Neela Gokhale, JJ. listed the matter in August after SEBI clarified that compliance with the requirements of the notice within 15 days was not insisted upon while the matters were pending before the Court.
SEBI had prescribed automatic disqualifications under the 2008 Regulations based on ‘fit and proper person’ criteria. Notices were issued to IIFL Securities Limited and 5 Paisa to take steps within 15 days and furnish the compliance report in accordance with Clause 6 of Schedule II to 2008 Regulations for the very reason that there were certain matters pending investigation with the relevant enforcement agencies.
The compliance requirements as per the said notices in the lead matter included immediate termination of the petitioner (Venkataraman Rajaman, Director, IIFL Securities), suspension of all voting rights held by the petitioner in both IIFL Securities Limited and 5 Paisa, and a forced divestiture of the petitioner’s entire shareholding.
Counsel for SEBI had submitted that considering the challenges raised and the pendency of matters before the High Court, SEBI was not presently insisting on compliance within 15 days with the requirements of the notices.
With such relief given by SEBI against compliance to the parties against whom notices were issued, the Court listed the next hearing of the instant matter on 2-08-2023.
[Venkataraman Rajaman v. Securities and Exchange Board of India, 2023 SCC OnLine Bom 1373, dated 6-07-2023]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
For Petitioner: Senior Advocate Janak Dwarkadas, Advocate Samit Shukla, Advocate Vinodini Srinivasan, Advocate Saloni Shah, Advocate Shivani Khanwilkar, Senior Advocate Prateek Sakseria, Advocate Nitesh Jain, Advocate Hridhay Khurana, Advocate Joran Diwan, Advocate Anubhav Ghosh, Advocate Devarsh Shah, Advocate Atharva Gade, Senior Advocate Amit Desai, Senior Advocate Zal Andhyarujina, Advocate Suresh Gupta;
For Respondents: Senior Advocate Amit Desai, Advocate Munaf Virjee, Advocate Rushabh P, Senior Advocate Rafique Dada, Senior Advocate JJ Bhatt, Advocate Mihir Mody, Advocate Arnav Misra, Senior Advocate Ashish Kamat, Advocate Daneel Pancras.