Sebi Nails Ranbaxy; Lets Off HFCL, Essel Group & Satyam In Stock Scam

New Delhi, November 27: | Updated: Nov 28 2002, 05:30am hrs
Securities & Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has given a clean chit to Subhash Chandras Essel group, Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd (HFCL) and Satyam Computers in last years stock market scam but recommended action against the promoters of Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd for keeping the regulator in the dark over acquisition of fresh shares of the company.

The market watchdog has, however, come down heavily on stock brokers role in price rigging and initiated action against a large number of them, including the then high profile broker Ketan Parekh.

In its final report on the scam, Sebi has said it initiated adjudication proceedings against Ranbaxys promoter entities for violating the takeover code and increasing their equity stake by 7.015 per cent during January-October 1999.

The market regulator has stated that it will take appropriate action, if required, against HFCL and its group companies if the inspection report of the department of company affairs finds violation of any provisions of the Sebi Act and rules and regulations.

Sebi has issued show cause notices to 17 stockbroking entities for creating artificial volumes in HFCL scrips under prohibition of fraudulent and unfair trade practices. Sebi has indicted the entities belonging to stock brokers Ketan Parekh, Dinesh Kumar Singhania, Sanjay Khemani and Ashok Kumar Poddar.

On the role of the HFCL promoters in price manipulation of the scrip, the report says, though HFCL gave Rs 550 crore to the KP entities during January-March 2001, there are no indications so far that promoters were involved in price manipulation. The end utilisation of funds by the KP group is being examined by the department of company affairs.

On the issue of price manipulation in Zee Telefilms Ltd (ZTL), Sebi has concluded that the Essel group companies were not involved in the price rigging, but show cause notices have been issued to the entities of stock brokers Sanjay Khemani, DK Poddar, Ketan Parekh and DK Singhania for fraudulent and unfair practices.

Sebi has confirmed that investment and trading concerns of the Essel group gave Rs 706.40 crore to the KP entities but stated, the Essel group while providing inter-corporate deposits took a firm undertaking from the KP group that the KP group would not use the money provided by the Essel group to make purchase of shares of ZTL and Essel Packaging Ltd, the listed companies of the Essel group.

The market regulator has not found any transactions between Satyam Computer Services and Ketan Parekh but is collating the evidence regarding the matched trades executed by the broking entities of Ketan Parekh and the entities associated with him.

The DCA has, however, found some violations by Satyam of the Companies Act regarding non-creation of debenture reserve ratio and non-compliance of some clauses of the listing agreement.

In the case of Pentamedia, the market regulator has referred the issue of preferential allotment of 10 lakh shares of Pentamedia to Malu Financial services to the department of company affairs.

Sebi has also indicted stockbroking firm Credit Suisse First Boston and decided to initiate enquiry proceedings for indulging in deceptive and fraudulent transactions in Ranbaxy shares and acting in concert with the Ketan Parekh entities to rig the scrip during January 1-October 31, 1999.