The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) on Wednesday adjourned the final hearing of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) plea in the matter of insider trading to October 11, refusing to allow an intervention petition sought to be filed by M Furquan, the editor of an Urdu daily, ‘Sach Bilkul Sach’.
Furquan had sought to intervene the case, alleging that there could be collusion between the capital markets regulator and the Mukesh Ambani-led RIL to settle the case.
Meanwhile, Reliance Industries’ counsel, Janak Dwarkadas, making his final arguments, said his client had not received all the documents from the regulator. These claims were disputed by Darius Khambata, the advocate general, appearing for Sebi, and instead asked Reliance Industries’ to file an affidavit stating so. Khambata also alleged that the company is indulging in time-buying tactics.
The tribunal, a three-member bench headed by retired high court judge of the Bombay High Court JP Devadhar, has adjourned the matter to October 11, when Khambata will finish his arguments in the case. Sebi has been maintaining that the Reliance Industries’ appeal is “not maintainable”.
The tribunal also asked the Reliance Industries’ counsel to compile all the documents and index them, as it would help conduct the hearing in a smooth manner.
SAT has been hearing Reliance Industries’ seven-year-old case against Sebi for several months, whereby the regulator alleged that Reliance Industries’ violated insider trading norms in the sale of shares of subsidiary company Reliance Petroleum (RPL) in 2007 and unlawfully gained over Rs 500 crore. RPL was later merged with Reliance Industries’.
Reliance Industries’ had approached SAT against Sebi after its application to settle the matter through a ‘consent mechanism’ was rejected by the regulator. Under Sebi’s consent mechanism, companies can seek to settle cases with the regulator after paying certain charges and disgorgement of any ill-gotten gains.Reliance Industries’ has challenged Sebi’s decision and also the recent changes made by the regulator in regulations governing settlement of cases through the consent mechanism, especially those already under consideration.
(with PTI inputs)