Markets regulator Sebi has slapped a fine of Rs 2.5 lakh on JSW Steel for failing to redress an investor complaint in a timely manner. “The noticee (JSW Steel), being a listed company failed to redress the complaint satisfactorily even after repeated complaints by the complainant for the same complaint,” Sebi said in an order. According to the regulator, one investor complaint was pending against JSW Steel as on March 25, 2015 relating to non-receipt of shares after transfer. The complainant had bought physical shares of the firm off market from one Jaichand Shah, who had got possession of the shares but was not the rightful owner of the scrips and had sold them to the complainant.
The registrar and transfer agent refused to transfer the shares and returned the original transfer deed and copy of share certificate to the complainant through a letter dated February 9, 2010 requesting him to approach the seller for settlement. The complainant, instead of approaching the seller for settlement, chose to pursue the matter with JSW Steel through Sebi. In a meeting conducted by Sebi on January 11, 2016, the firm produced documentary evidence to the complainant, who was advised to settle the matter with the seller. The complaint was disposed of on January 22, 2016. “The noticee has not placed on record any evidence on the steps taken by it to redress the complaint,” Sebi said in an order on Thursday.
The regulator noted the same complaint was being filed with the Sebi Complaints Redressal System (SCORES) since the years 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015. “Thus, it is evident that if the noticee would have been serious at all in speedy redressal of investor complaints it would have shown/ given the documents way back in 2011 which it had shown to the complainant only after Sebi called a meeting with the complainant and the noticee together and the complainant would not have complained again,” Sebi said. It was only due to Sebi action the investor was satisfied and the complaint was disposed of after a delay of around one year and two months, the order noted. After taking into account these facts, the watchdog decided to impose a fine of Rs 2.5 lakh on the company.