The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) today reduced Sebi's penalty on Dipak J Panchal and his wife to Rs two crore each in a case related to irregular dealings in Initial Public Offer (IPO) way back in 2003-05.
In its order, SAT while upholding the findings of Sebi, reduced the penalty to Rs two crore for Dipak J Panchal and his wife Devangi D Panchal.
Last year, Sebi had slapped a fine of Rs 20 crore on Dipak Panjal and another Rs 25 crore on Devangi Panchal for the irregularities.
The case relates to IPOs of nearly 21 companies, including that of IL&FS, NTPC, IDFC, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Suzlon Energy during 2003-2005.
Stating that heavy penalty had not been imposed on any other entities involved in the case, SAT ordered reduction in the fine on the couple.
While giving the order, SAT said it had kept in view the quantum of penalty imposed on other entities involved in the matter and also the fact that a large number of entities had been permitted to settle them through consent proceedings.
"... We are of the view that ends of justice would be met by reducing the penalty in the case of the two appellants (Dipak and Devangi Panchal) before us to Rs 2 crores each, " SAT said.
Among other things, Sebi said it had found that certain entities including Dipak and Devangi Panchal had opened thousands of demat accounts under fictitious names.
Dipak and Devangi were members of the Panchal family group that was alleged to have created several such bank introduction letters under false names.
Based on these letters as proof of identity and address, demat accounts were opened, Sebi had said. The couple had held joint demat and bank accounts.