International investment banker Goldman Sachs has received a major relief from the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT), an appellate authority for capital markets. The relief was granted by SAT over the issuance of offshore derivatives instruments (ODIs) by reversing market regulator Sebis order. SAT not only deprecated the conduct of the adjudicating officer of Sebi but also directed the regulator to pay Rs 1 lakh to the investment banker as cost of litigation. Sebi had earlier imposed a penalty of Rs 1 crore on Goldman Sachs Investment (Mauritius) Limited for not submitting the information about issuance of ODIs in a prescribed format and with the requisite declarations. The present case pertains to issuance of ODIs by Mauritius-based affiliate of Goldman Sachs in November 2002 with shares of Himachal Futuristic Communications as the underlying security.
The ODIs, after passing through several hands, reached Magnus Capital Corporation Limited, an overseas corporate body (OCB). Sebi later, through a circular in August 2003, revised the format for reporting of investments by foreign institutional investors (FIIs). Under the revised format, FIIs and their sub-accounts were required to give a declaration that no ODIs were issued to Indian/residents, NRIs/PIOs/OCBs.