Sebi today relaxed restrictions on 26 entities against whom it had taken action in a case of alleged misuse of stock market platform for tax evasion and suspected money-laundering activities. The entities, which were barred from the securities market in the case, have now been given certain relaxations, including permission to deal in government securities and invest in ETF (exchange-traded funds).
Besides, they can enter into delivery-based transactions in cash segment in NSE Nifty 500 index as well as S&P BSE 500 shares, and subscribe to mutual funds. Among others, these entities can tender shares lying in their demat account in any open offer/delisting under the relevant Sebi regulations. Sebi had restrained Pine Animation and 177 related entities from the securities market for alleged tax evasion worth Rs 420 crore. Out of them, 26 entities have been given the relaxations.
“It is worth mentioning that the case in hand is peculiar as large number of entities have been restrained and the ongoing investigation in the matter may take time to complete. “I am also conscious that the restraint order should not cause disproportionate hardship or avoidable loss to the portfolio of the noticees (26 entities). That is hy, noticees were granted several relaxations,” Sebi Whole-Time Director G Mahalingam said in an order.
As per the order, the entities for whom relaxations have been extended can sell the securities lying in their demat accounts. This will exclude shares of the companies which are suspended from trading by stock exchanges concerned. Besides, sale proceeds lying in the escrow account can be used for certain purposes. Sebi said, “up to 25 per cent of the value of the portfolio as on the date of the interim order or the amount in excess of the profit made/loss incurred or value of shares purchased to give exit, whichever is higher, may be utilised for business purposes and/or for meeting any other exigencies or addressing liquidity problems etc”.