Regulator Sebi has banned Grass Root Finance & Investment Company (India) Ltd and 13 others from the capital markets for raising funds without complying with the public issue norms. A probe by Sebi found that the company had issued equity shares to 9,321 people between 1995-96 and 2006-07 and raised Rs 6.80 crore through such issuance. Since these shares were issued to more than 50 investors by the company, it qualified as a public issue under the norms, which required compulsory listing on recognised stock exchanges. Among others, the firm was also required to file a prospectus, which it failed to do. In an interim order passed on October 18, Sebi said that Grass Root is prima facie in breach of the provisions of the Companies Act in connection with the allotment of shares. “I observe that the company, by making public issue of equity shares apparently without complying with the… provisions of the Companies Act, has also prima facie violated the…clauses of the Sebi(disclosure and Investor Protection) Guidelines,” Sebi Whole Time Member G Mahalingam said.
Accordingly, Sebi said that Grass Root Finance and Jiten Chandra Bora; Jagneswar Saikia; Karuna Borah; Gopi Bhuyan Ram; Harisa Goyari; Bikash Roy; Pradip Sarmah; Keshab Gogoi; Bhupen Burha Gohain; Pradip Hazarika; Minaram Hazarika; Guluk Gogoi; and Khargeswar Das, would “not access the securities market or buy, sell or otherwise deal in securities market”.
Most of these individuals are either the company’s promoters or directors. It has asked them not to dispose of any of their assets nor divert any funds raised from the public through the offer and allotment of equity shares.